"A girl. Her guy. A waitress. A ukulele. Copious amounts of chicken" is the catchy and charming tag line of Nando's and Nandon'ts, a new musical brought to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year from Leicester based theatre company Rebel Breed.
What can't be denied is that this show has a certain kind of awkward charm.
The story follows the tumultuous tale of a couple in and out of love, as they try to navigate their way through disagreements, cyber-cheating and their often opposing personalities. This is all helped along by the wisdom, wacky humour and friendly guidance of their local Nando’s waitress. With all original music written by William Breden and James D. Ward, the story is set to a backdrop of live ukulele and punctuated with a variety of musical numbers.
What can't be denied is that this show has a certain kind of awkward charm. Indeed it seems to have a sense of humour about itself which was, at times, really infectious. The small cast raised a good few laughs from an easy going, Saturday afternoon audience. However I do find it hard to see this show as anything beyond being a mildly enjoyable 60 minutes of free Fringe.
To take the pieces of the show apart slightly, the vocals were far from perfect, some of the acting was stagnant and at times the ukuleles were cringingly off key. Harmonies clashed, lyrics were predictably rhymed and a great deal of the humour was derived from the yelling of spontaneous expletives.
Fortunately something in lead actress Hannah Bowden's careless comedy ability saved the day. Admittedly at times she tried too hard but she was also effortlessly funny at other times and brought humour to a script that didn't offer her much.