In this youth show, the performance of a play is interrupted by the death of a cast member. Can Detective Blanc find out who did it, with the help of the production team and the audience?
Should you see it?
I’m going to be honest here: I don’t like writing this review. I feel mean. I really, really wanted to give this show a higher grade. But I can’t. Even if it is a youth show, I still feel like it should be judged it to Fringe standards.
I don’t think this is the fault of the performers; it’s truly awesome to see 11 to 16-year-olds on stage, having a blast. I remember discovering theatre at that age and falling in love, so it’s exciting to see a whole new generation doing just that.
The problem here, I believe, is a lack of direction and polish. Actors fidget in place, walk backwards, speak their lines at a glacial pace. There were a lot of forgotten lines and awkward pauses. We were told there was a last-minute substitution due to illness, but I’d be hard pressed to tell you who it was.
The script itself also seems like an odd choice. It’s full of dated pop culture references and jokes that don’t land, it offers no surprises and ends very abruptly. The Show Must Go On… is a lot shorter than advertised, clocking in at well under half an hour.
I do hope that all the youth involved continue to do theatre. The leading ladies did actually have some good comedic timing. A smaller venue might have helped; Academic Hall is a very large, intimidating theatre. Everyone on stage did seem to be having a fantastic time. I want to encourage everyone involved to keep going, but I think they could do much, much better.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you think! Join the discussion in the comments below.