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EDINBURGH 2011: BWW Reviews: THE SELFISH GENE, Zoo Roxy, Aug 12 2011

August 15
9:31 AM 2011


Inspired by Richard Dawkins' book of the same name, a biologist attempts to explain the origins of life within the context of a family's real world trials. The piece follows a 'typical' family as they navigate the trials of a normal day, all the while with a biologist popping up from nowhere to try and commentate on their situation in terms of the origins of life.

While I have to admit that I'm not a biologist, I do have enough rudimentary knowledge of the subject area to appreciate the premise of the show. In execution, however, the show was a little disappointing. While there were some good lyrics and catchy hooks, the majority of the song writing was inconsistent, often lacking structure within the melodies. While there were some genuinely funny moments, the show suffered from weak vocals and overacting from some (though not all) cast members. I'm sure that from a biologist's point of view the show would have been a lot more entertaining, but from a musical theatre point of view the flaws were harder to get past.

A show with potential but needs a little more work, or perhaps is better suited to being a play.

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Julia Hogg Julia was born and raised in London, had a brief (10-year) interlude living in New Zealand, and moved back to London in 2007. She has spent a slightly worrying amount of time and money in West End and fringe theatres ever since, where her unabashed love for musicals has flourished. She has a very normal day-job in order to support her theatre habit, and can often be heard to comment "well, it'd almost be rude NOT to see it". She has a background in psychology, a keen interest in Deaf culture and is currently learning British Sign Language. If you need to contact her, she will most likely be in a theatre somewhere.


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