Tick, Tick ... Boom

On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, Jon’s pre-life crisis takes the form of a musical monologue with supporting cast. This show is about a struggling musical composer in 90s New York whose girlfriend leaves him for her career and whose best friend is HIV positive. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is: tick, tick... BOOM! is essentially an embryonic version of Larson’s later (and considerably more accomplished) musical Rent with a bit of Sondheim worship thrown in. Fans of Larson - and who isn’t? - will love the chance to see the ideas behind Rent taking shape both thematically and musically. Fans of good writing will love the chance to nit-pick at the undramatic and unintelligent book and lyrics.The show was written for studio performance and the cast of three really use the small theatre in The Space to their advantage. Quick and often humorous costume changes take advantage of the flexibility of the blank set and the cast are able to fill the whole space with sound as well as speak in barely a whisper when called for - all to great emotive effect. The live band really benefited the show, the lead guitar in particular adding a nod-along quality that was appreciated by the packed-in audience.Although David Hepburn didn’t display the vocal accomplishment I expect from a lead role, he more than compensated with his personable acting ability, which made his rather whiney character sympathetic to the audience - in fact it took a few hours after the show for me to realise how irritating someone like Jon would be in real life. Debora Haig was very strong as Susan, her fabulous singing and complicated multiple-role acting doing her much credit. I certainly hope to see more of Debora in future shows!

Reviews by James T. Harding

Pleasance Courtyard

Creatives

★★
Bedlam Theatre

The Duck Pond

★★★★★

The Blurb

'Tick Tick ... Boom!' A musical about the courage it takes to follow your dreams. Jonathan Larson's (author of 'Rent') autobiographical tale of a young composer on the brink of turning 30 and falling into oblivion.