The composer and lyricist for the West End Wilma Award-winning I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical took some time out to offer us a gander at their returning show for the Edinburgh fringe. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a musical theatre performer, well, Alexander S Bermange’s comedy musical revue will unearth the truth as the show goes into the tantrums, the chorus members, the egos and mishaps, and the backstage backstabbing. All to those musical marvels which make it all worthwhile.
Would you mind giving us a brief insight into who you are/what your show is?
I’m the composer and lyricist of I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical, a comedic musical revue that reveals everything you could possibly want to know about being a musical theatre performer… if only there were any who would dare to admit it! It’s a chronological caper through the highlights – and low points – of a career on the stage, covering the endless auditioning, the knackering dance routines, the thankless understudying, the onstage kisses, the difficult divas, the crazy fans… and much more!
How does it feel to be a part of the 75th Anniversary Fringe?
It feels extremely exciting! The show played throughout the 2019 Fringe, and I was overwhelmed by the response that it received – selling out at every performance and accumulating over a dozen five-star reviews. The original plan was to revive it there in 2020, which turned into a plan to do so in 2021, both of which for obvious reasons never transpired – and so it feels incredibly special to be bringing it back to the Fringe in this landmark year.
There are over 3,000 shows at the Fringe. So what sets your show apart?
As the composer and lyricist, it would be immodest of me to mention the writing as a factor (though it is my hope that it will be one!), but I can certainly comment with a little more objectivity on the quality of the performances and the production. Our cast is comprised of artists whose combined credits include shows such as Les Misérables and Joseph in the West End, and Titanic and The Producers on tour, and their singing, dancing and acting talents are truly mesmerising. And the production is directed and choreographed by Joanna Goodwin, who has worked on Gypsy, Sunset Boulevard, Funny Girl and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and who therefore knows exactly how to bring all the necessary spectacle and sparkle to a musical! Finally, the show contains a distinct blend of humour (which we’re surely all in need of after the few years we’ve just had) and “heart”, and sets out both to thoroughly tickle audiences’ funny bones and to provide moments of real poignancy.
Your ideal audience is in attendance, who’s watching? Or more importantly – who isn’t there…
On the basis of my experience in 2019, the show will have a special appeal to those who love musical theatre, but by virtue of the fact that it lampoons the genre, those who are less (or even not at all) keen on musicals will also find much to enjoy (in fact, I recall overhearing one audience member last time remarking, “I hate musicals, so I loved that!”). On a broader level, it will speak both to those who work in theatre – who will doubtless find the content very relatable – and those who are curious to discover some of the industry’s unspoken truths – who I hope will find it extremely revelatory!
It’s an intense month, so where you’re able, how do you plan to relax, and are there any other shows you’re intending on seeing/Recommending?
Whenever I visit a city, I love exploring it by means of self-guided walks, so I anticipate doing likewise this summer in Edinburgh. I also have a particular passion for Harry Potter and have fond memories of participating in a couple of Potter-themed tours around Edinburgh in 2019, so that’s certainly something I’d love to repeat. And needless to say I’m hoping to catch a variety of other shows; I’ve been so fully immersed in rehearsals that I haven’t had an opportunity to thoroughly browse through everything on offer but very much look forward to doing so and to making my selections!
I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical runs at Venue 24, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose (3 Chambers St, EH1 1HT) from August 3rd – 28th.
Performances begin at 20.45pm and last for one hour.