6-30 Aug (not 16) 1735 (1845) @ Zoo Roxy
By Danielle Farrow
Fresher. The Musical is an infectious ride through the excitement, fear and awkwardness of setting out on what should, apparently, be ‘the best years of your life’. Five new students sing, cry, laugh, support and squabble their way through Freshers entertainments as they deal with how others see them and their own expectations of themselves. Oh, and they drink – hey, they’re Freshers.
Songs are quite simply worded and there was not a single tune that lingered afterwards, but the singing was powerful and often heartfelt. There is also plenty of humour, with silly drinking games, comedy musical dance numbers, and brilliantly sincere delivery of idiocies from that awfully nice Rupert chappy. All the characters are strongly played, and can be heard in solo songs, or those where few sing. In ‘showstopper’ tunes, however, the miked sound really needs to be adjusted for the space. The musicians, on stage throughout, are excellent and do not drown out the singers, so there is really no need for the vocals on the full numbers to be blasted through with such ear-splitting vehemence.
In the writing, Fresher. The Musical has a slight feel of stock characters with a few simple plot devices, but there are some witty sections of dialogue and the characters are well-fleshed out in performance, with depth given to their insecurities. A lot of humour is served up in recognisable Fresher traditions, and an appreciative audience definitely felt it had been treated to a good time.