One Week in Magaluf

ERA Productions returns to the Fringe this year with a familiar act that sees the lively quartet of Megan (Mia Taylor), Nicole (Catherine Hutchinson), Amy (Abi Price) and Olivia (Molly King) – whose various personalities quirks and clashes provide the bulwark of the humour – relish in the chaos of nightclubs, hangovers, and Ricky Martin in a mishmash display of female camaraderie, set to the tune of noughties classics. Vividly displaying the pitfalls of booze-fuelled party resort shenanigans that test the group’s friendship, the all-female production is pleasant and energetic, resembling a cross between The Inbetweeners and Derry Girls.

A fulfilling performance that strikes many a chord with its audience

Calling this a musical, in the conventional sense, would be disengenous as it angles closer to a noughties-themed hen-do singalong. And like any hen-do it sounds like, well, as you’d imagine: a group of drunken women singing karaoke poorly. And surely, as the title suggests, poorly sung drunken lyrics are what one expects in Magaluf, which the well-choreographed inter-clubbing scenes purposefully imitate in unnervingly accurate fashion, complete with an assortment of inflatable props.

Surely that’s the point though, isn’t it? Drunken crooning on a shooter-saturated night out on the Magaluf strip? But in various places the show attempts genuine musical talent without invoking this deft sense of irony, offering a confusing fallacy. Perhaps the billing’s conceit is to blame, but any attempt by the cast to offer genuine Broadway talent is immediately rebranded a singalong given the memory of wandering pitch on many other numbers. Truly, it is this cheesiness which makes the act so appealing – especially on the cringey, thoroughly butchered but hilarious rendition of Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me – but something it inconsistently exploits.

The show rarely misses an easy, clichéd noughties target – Shrek, Britney Spears, and Peter Andre to name a few millennial tokens – but these are what make it enjoyable, eliciting laughter and applause from the audience in its infectious, happy-go-lucky nostalgic appeal to bygone days of Busted and Girls Aloud pre-2008 crash.

Ultimately, the crux of the show rests upon the purported choice of genre: Musical? Drama? Comedy? One Week in Magaluf eagerly strives to be all three in one, but succeeds in stretching itself thin in its 50-minute slot, weakening the end product. Does it show promise in any one of these genres? Absolutely. The story – though messy in places – is moderately engaging; there is strong acting output from the likes of King in her portrayal of the prudish Olivia, reminiscent of Motherland’s Amanda; lighting and sound is well orchestrated; there is versatility and raw musical talent from Price in her portrayal of the boisterous and flirtatious Amy; and there is a goldmine to be exploited in the comedic writings of director Amy Nic. As a piece of musical theatre, it is regrettably benign, lacking a rudder to steer it towards conceptual gratification. But as a bustling noughties throwback brimming with vitality and catchy numbers, it is otherwise a fulfilling performance that strikes many a chord with its audience.

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Reviews by Stuart Mckenzie

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

When Amy, Megan, Nicole and Olivia decide to go on a week-long girls' holiday to Magaluf, some of them are excited for sun, sex and sangria... some of them didn’t quite get the memo. Unexpected announcements, unusual companions and unrealistic expectations cause tension amongst the best friends – will they make it back as a group? Or will the friendship bracelets be torn off before they even get to the airport? With a nostalgic 00s soundtrack, this musical is a hilarious representation of female friendship at it’s finest.

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