I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical – Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

Composition & Lyricist by Alexander S. Bermange

Directed & Choreography by Joanna Goodwin

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Have you ever wanted a sneak peek into the lives of the stars of your favourite musical?

Returning to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival after international success, Alexander S. Bermange’s I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical showcases the challenges and triumphs experienced in the lives of musical theatre performers.

The four cast members are bringing Bermange’s vision to life: Luke Harley, Hannah Taylor, Harry Winchester, and Alice Ellen Wright. With their vocal, acting and dancing talent on show, this cast effortlessly adapts to their role in each song and transports the audience into the narrative of each number.

Bookending the show are the incredibly self-referential “Opening Number” and “Encore”, which vocalise the audience experience of attending a musical, from the annoyance of encountering latecomers at the outset of a show, to the urge to return home during a particularly drawn-out encore.

The core of the production contains numerous references to other musicals. It takes the audience on a journey through the life of a performer, from the gruelling audition experience to the world of technical difficulties, using an illness to gain audience sympathy and the titular desire to live in a musical where life is more straightforward. However, following a single character through the portrayed experiences could have created a more seamless storyline.

Highlight performances include Winchester’s performance of “Standing By” bemoaning the life of an understudy called upon when the more popular star falls ill, Taylor’s rendition of a song detailing the experience of having a crazed fan, Harley’s detailing of an intricate routine undergone by a superstitious star and Wright’s hilarious impression of a prima donna in “The Diva In the House”.

Joanna Goodwin and Holly Prentice’s choreography, especially in an extensive tap-dancing sequence, ensures that the audience always has an eye-catching routine to admire.

With performances running until the 28th of August, there is still plenty of time to catch this high-energy homage to musical theatre, those that love watching it and those that dedicate their lives to performing in it.

‘Returning Triumph’

I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical runs at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose until August 28th.

Tickets for which may be obtained here.

By Mhairi Sime


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