BWW Reviews: LOSERVILLE, Garrick Theatre, October 11
Thanks to (amongst numerous other things) Facebook, Apple and The Big Bang Theory, being a geek in 2012 is officially chic.
So attempting to do for musicals what 'The Social Network' did at the box office is 'Loserville' – essentially a love story interspersed with the race to send the first e-mail (improbably run by an evil corporation called Arch versus a bunch of high school nerds - not sure if Sir Tim Berners Smith wants to raise a hand now?).
The title 'Loserville' doesn't really do the show justice but makes more sense when you understand that one of the shows writers is James Bourne of Busted fame who subsequently left the pop ensemble to form indie band Son of Dork, who released an album called 'Welcome to Loserville' upon which the show is now based (still feel that Hotmail The Musical would have been better).
Loserville is a standard love story about geek v jock in which high octane young things jump about wearing clothes made of Haribo projecting about being yourself and fitting in.
The songs all sound the same but are foot-twitchingly catchy and as a fan of Busted it was like listening to Year 3000 and Crashed The Wedding on loop which is no bad thing.
The scenery is great with the cast carrying around huge notebooks which they flip to create cars, forests and houses and indeed said cast are exuberant and execute their roles well.
I just can't help compare something like this to the musicals I saw in my youth – Cats, Joseph, Oliver and the like, and wonder, who is this actually for? Is it all too knowing and postmodern?
The adverts all over the London Underground pose the question; “Like Glee/Grease/The Big Bang Theory? You'll love Loserville.”
And indeed if you like the misfit genre, you will feel mildly moved by the show, I just wonder if it's got the specs to be one of the greats.