Review: Be More Chill
Image courtesy The Other Palace
Blake Patrick Anderson - MICHAEL MELL
Miracle Chance - CHRISTINE CANIGULA
Stewart Clarke - THE SQUIP
Eloise Davies - BROOKE LOHST
Christopher Fry - MR HEERE, MR REYES + OTHERS
James Hameed - RICH GORANSKI
Scott Folan - JEREMY HEERE
Renee Lamb - JENNA ROLAN
Millie O'Connell - CHLOE VALENTINE
Miles Paloma - JAKE DILLINGER
Gabriel Hinchliffe - UNDERSTUDY
Eve Norris - UNDERSTUDY
Jon Tsouras - UNDERSTUDY
Be More Chill is the new musical sensation that's about to invade your brain … in the best way.
An unprecedented international phenomenon, this original and hilarious show exploded onto the musical theatre scene and electrified audiences during its runs off- and on Broadway.
Featuring a Tony Award®-nominated score bursting with addictive earworms, BE MORE CHILL is a mind-bendingly fun hit about the competing voices in all of our heads.
It's just your atypical love story - a guy (he wants to fit in), a girl (she wants to be noticed), and the supercomputer inside the guy's head that tells him what to do (it wants to take over the world!).
Note: Be More Chill is recommended for ages 12+.
The musical has mature themes and mature language.
Patrons are advised to consider the individual needs of younger theatergoers before taking them to the show.
Geoffrey BillingsleyPerformance date: Tuesday 18 February 2020
My first venture to The Other Palace and what do I get?
This brilliant musical based on Ned Vizzini's novel about "teenage angst" - but they don't call it that any more.
Based somewhat on the author's own personal experience of High School life, we have Jeremy Heere, played very energetically by Scott Folan.
His early rendition of "More Than Survive" is quite something - and sets out his stall perfectly.
And what energy, especially vocally.
Jeremy is a bit of a nerd, sexually frustrated, has a difficult relationship with his father, played by Christopher Fry, but has a good friend in Michael, brilliantly played by Blake Patrick Anderson.
Trouble is, like all good friendships, they're put under intense scrutiny at times.
Jeremy's Mum left the family home some years earlier - Dad is a bit of a Homer Simpson and refuses to put his pants on if not going out!
Jeremy is taken in by Rich (James Hameed) and takes a drug, or potion that places a "Squip"! inside your brain which turns Jeremy into a cool cat, at ease with the ladies when previously he hadn't even kissed one!
Girls that is.
The pure energy of this brilliant young cast takes your breath away and Miracle Chance as Christine gives an amazing performance as a slightly mixed up kid, wanting to fit in but not afraid to say just what's on her mind.
Jeremy's eyes are firmly set on Christine, but the Squip, played by Stewart Clarke, has other ideas and encourages Jeremy to look at all other alternatives, which includes ditching his best buddy Michael.
It's Michael in fact who, in my opinion, get's the best song - "Michael In The Bathroom" - from the 16 featured.
There are echoes of shows like Rocky Horror and Little Shop of Horrors but this is modern and technical and will prove a hit, especially with young people, several of which were in evidence along with me at the press night viewing.
All the songs are excellent and individual cast members get their chance to prove their worth, especially Brooke - played by the amazing Eloise Davies.
What I particularly like about Be More Chill is the fact that it deals with relatively 'normal' problems that college kids have - a bit of bullying and pressure to succeed but not too heavy on things like personal sexuality, unlike too many productions these days.
It seems to say "it's ok to be just who you are".
Aimed at possibly young people with low self esteem, anyone going to The Other Palace to see Be More Chill will come away feeling 10 feet tall!
It's a very bright show and scene changes are depicted by images on the massive screen, which obviously hides the orchestra but hear them you will, superbly led by MD Louisa Green.
The Other Palace as a theatre space reminds me of the layout at Trafalgar Studios and is very comfortable.
A sensible photo policy too, which allows audience members to click away at the curtain call.
Formerly St. James Theatre, it's discreet location 5 mins from Victoria station makes it one of my (almost) hidden treasures.
I know it won't be long before I return as I left my glasses in the cosy bar area but I would recommend this to anyone who feels life is getting on top of them - have a dose of 'Chill' and you'll find you're getting on top of life!
Links and related content
ActDrop listing for The Other Palace
Our show listing for Be More Chill
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