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REVIEW: Tom and Bunny Save the World ★★★★★ at Newcastle Alphabetti
Tom and Bunny Save the World: The Musical ★★★★★
Newcastle Alphabetti Theatre
Friday 25th &
Saturday 26th May 2018
Book and Lyrics: Robyn Grant
Music: Jonny Holbek
Director: Cat Robey
Producer: Laura Elmes for Fat Rascal Theatre
You wait for a musical to appear at Newcastle’s
Alphabetti Theatre and two come along at once. Tom
& Bunny captures the delightful comedic sense of powerful observation
that made Avenue Q work so well.
Zombies have broken out of a hospital in Greenwich after
an outbreak. Oxford graduate Tom (Jamie Mawson) falls over Bunny (Robyn Grant)
as they try to escape the capital armed with a handy baseball bat. They decide
to drive north to Yorkshire as hopefully the chaos is somewhat less up there.
At a dairy farm they pick up a vet Gareth (Luke Dunford) who is trying to
escape the mad farming couple.
The journey north passes Nottingham Trent University
which they decide to stop off at in case there is a cure there. Ultimately they
pick up pregnant scientist Pearl (Allie Munro) and gun wielding army-type Kai
News has it that the best place to point the car is
Bridlington so they head off to the Yorkshire sea side town in the hope of
saving the world from the zombie apocalypse.
Indeed – why wouldn’t hope be found in Brid? If this
was made for TV or film there is a strong chance they would swing the
destination to the south east or, at a push, Blackpool. The Yorkshire angle
adds a fun, and unexpected angle, to proceedings. Writer Robyn Grant has given
the show a distinctive and fresh feel. Much of the dialogue is well-observed and
contemporary. There are political and social issues there to be found but not
at a level that is either preachy or distracting from the main thrust of the
It is a musical. The early plot narration and guitar
playing duties land on James Boyd, who also plays Mike – the person watching
the CCTV footage of the apocalypse. The folky edge to the music helps to tell the
tale. The songs are sung with such energy and gusto, it is difficult not to be
carried away with the action. The cast recording was on sale for £5 and we
picked up a copy which is currently playing as this review is being written.
If a test of a comedy is if you laugh out loud at
least six times, then this is comfortably a comedy. The Alphabetti audience
appreciate the humour derived from both the script and from Cat Robey’s
direction. The cast utilised every inch of the stage to play out the Zombie
tale. Obviously some comparison could be made with Shaun Of The Dead but this is much more of a road trip whereas the
action in Shaun largely focuses on just
a couple of locations.
T&BSTW:TM packs a real punch during its one hour
running time. It’s a really funny comedy musical about zombies. The young
enthusiastic cast swept us along on the journey across the UK. This is well
worth a trip to the theatre!
25th and Saturday 26th May 2018 Show Begins: 7.30pm Tickets: £6.50 Full Price / £5.00 Concession (Student, OAP, Artist,
Unwaged) Age Recommendation:12+ (contains strong language and mild violence and
gore) Running Time: 1 hour