The novelty musical gets its fair share of traction over the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Fat Rascal Theatre are attempting to stake their claim as rulers of the field. Their other show,
Robyn Grant brings a true spark to the stage as both Bunny and the show’s writer
Set around a Britain that is overrun by zombies, there aren’t many survivors left, but Tom and Bunny discover each other and travel up north in hope of finding some other living people and maybe even a cure. Although they are very different people, the two endlessly-endearing characters become close friends by the end of this road musical. The company puts the ‘fun’ back into ‘zombie apocalypse’ and, as the title suggests, there is a happy ending as Tom and Bunny do indeed save the world.
The musical numbers are, on the whole, well put together. The tunes made for easy listening and the harmonies are complex. Even in a comedy musical, the cast’s vocals mean serious business, particularly in the case of Robyn Grant, whose presence brings a true spark to the stage as both Bunny and the show’s writer. However, many of the songs feel altogether unnecessary, and often make the show drag; they do little to push the plot forward and often seem rather samey. With little change in style, one song blends into the next and by the end of the performance they become rather dull. The best moments come from the company’s quick-witted dialogue, rather than the scoring. Refreshingly, the show features multiple queer characters, as well as strong, intelligent women. Positive, progressive representation like this cannot be overlooked when theatre still so often disregards or underwrites these groups of people.
Tom and Bunny Save the World is a credit to the ethos of the company that aims to create ‘Fresh and funny feminist musical theatre’. Without forcing a didactic approach, the company succeeds in embedding their feminist stance to theatre-making by the incorporation of ass-kicking female characters and well-rounded non-hetrosexual characters, whose purpose in the play goes well beyond their sexuality.