Techies: The Musical

The descriptor for this Fringe production should appeal to anyone involved in theatre. Techies are the crew who make shows happen. From scene shifters and lighting crew to the sound desk, the techies are that faceless crew who dart about in no sense of panic dressed in black, and make sure the show actually happens. Newly written by Tom Ling and Rebecca Maynard from Guild Musical Theatre Group at Birmingham University, this is a premiere production for the Fringe. A young and enthusiastic - if clearly inexperienced - crew embrace the challenge.

We know the limitations of small spaces at the Fringe but this crew use their area well, which is not easy in a fast paced non-stop musical comedy

South Atlantic – The Underwater Musical Experience is the musical within a musical, as we share an insight into the technical aspects of putting together a stage production. The lack of flashy effects takes nothing away from the experience on show. We know the limitations of small spaces at the Fringe but this crew use their area well, which is not easy in a fast paced non-stop musical comedy. There is a cast of eight in all - including those on the tech desk, not to be forgotten - and it all adds to a fun show by this young enthusiastic company with notable acting and vocal talents. The timing on entrances and cast interactions are slick and all credit to a tight direction here in what really is a tiny performance space.

The original music with live vocals interjects with the crisis that ensues as they attempt to pull together a production with just two weeks to go. A smooth ensemble performance ensures no one takes the starring role and the plaudits in this deserved success. If anything a bigger setting would ensure a better illustration of how ‘theatre’ works, with further insights and visual gags to complement the work that has already gone into the songwriting and development (with devised original backing recorded specially) of this musical. Accepting the staging limitations, a more imaginative use of props and costuming with a better-suited venue could flesh out this production and bring out the potential waiting in the wings.

Reviews by John Murray

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★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Two weeks before the opening of the new stage sensation South Atlantic: The Underwater Musical Experience and things aren’t quite going as smoothly as planned. Entrusted to a team of rag-tag techies and a director on the verge of an existential crisis, Techies: The Musical gives you a backstage pass to witness the tech challenge of a lifetime. Join us as we follow the lives of the DiCaprio’s of the sound desk; the dark knights of lights; the unsung heroes of theatre – for their most daring task yet.