28 September 2007
Edinburgh Fringe
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Bat Boy: The Musical
A glorious musical romp - with bite!
Bat Boy: The Musical 5-Star Rated

Bat Boy: The Musical (2006)
Cambridge University Broadway Savoyards
Ctoo, venue 4. 3rd-28th August (not 15th). 10.20pm (1hr30)
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Inspired by fictional characters in the Weekly World News tabloid over in the US of A, Bat Boy is an imaginative escapade in small-town America, aptly named Hope Falls.

Discovered in a cave and delivered to the town vet, Bat Boy faces some serious challenges in his life. For starters, he's only really able to grunt his way through polite conversation, and the townsfolk have a sneaking suspicion that he's behind the rapid decline in the local cow population.

Mrs Parker - the vet's wife - teaches Bat Boy (now dubbed Edgar) both manners and speech in double-quick time, only to make her husband, Dr Parker, fly into a jealous rage - plotting to bump Edgar off. Meanwhile, Edgar has fallen for Shelly, their daughter, and this kitsch frolic really starts to go places. I mean, there's bigotry, incest, bestiality and violence swimming in buckets of blood. Who said this wasn't perfect material for a musical?

Despite the dark subject matter, this is a searingly funny show. From the opening number - Hold Me, Bat Boy - to its reprise at the final curtain, this production is littered with one liners that'll catch you off-guard in the gut.

The musical style is very eclectic. Bubble-gum melodies with eye-watering lyrics; Sondheim dissonance and full-on Rock Opera combine in Laurence O'Keefe's brilliant score. This young group from Cambridge perform the numbers admirably - making this late-night slot at C too just fly by.

The leading players - Tom Johnson (Bat Boy), Holly Morgan (Shelly) and particularly Alexandra Spencer-Jones as Mrs Parker, really bring this show to life. It's an ambitiously big project to tackle on the Fringe, but one which they can feel justifiably proud.

Oh, and if there's one moral to the story, it's that a mountain is no place to raise cows.

[Pete Shaw]

show info
Bat Boy: The Musical
Cambridge University Broadway Savoyards

Director:
Chris Adams

Theatre:
C Venues
Ctoo, venue 4. 3rd-28th August (not 15th). 10.20pm (1hr30)

4
© Broadway Baby 2007, all rights reserved.

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