A-Team: The Musical, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh
Monday 24 August 2009
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a production company in search of an audience at the Fringe need only find a pop culture phenomenon, add the words "the musical" and the queues will begin to snake around the block.
So it has happened with this lo-fi homage to the Eighties television adventure serial but this production has little of the verve or originality of Jerry Springer: The Opera, arguably the show which started the trend when it was picked up for worldwide success at the Fringe in 2002.
The paper-thin plot centres on the magnificently poodle-permed and jumpsuited Tawnia Roberts, a small-town pet-shop owner facing ruination at the hands of the local mobster family, the Jacksons. In despair, she turns to the A-Team for help and lo, the much-loved gang appear – Hannibal the brains, Face the lothario, Murdock the genius and BA Baracus the heavy – to lend a hand.
The show is an affectionate pastiche of the television drama with plenty of mullets and Ray-Bans, deliberately lo-tech cardboard props, a cast who occasionally come out of character to tout for further acting work and a devastating final explosion in which, in the age-old style of the show, "no-one dies or gets hurt". The company fizzes with energy, even during some not very memorable musical numbers and it’s all entirely silly and not entirely unenjoyable. But enough of the novelty musicals now, please.
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