The Other Palace, London. 18/02/2020
Ok, so we have some mad, gigantic feelings for this show! Be More Chill, the newly transferred broadway cult hit with music and lyrics by Joe Iconis, book by Joe Tracz and directed by Stephen Brackett who directed the broadway production has opened at The Other Palace in London. We were invited along to press night which we were so excited about as we can’t get enough of the cast recording. The show tells the story of high school ‘loser’ Jeremy Heere (Scott Folan) who just wants to be popular and impress his crush Christine Canigula (Miracle Chance) so goes about it as any normal high school student would and buys a performance enhancing technology pill for $400 and lets a “squip” take over his brain!
We really enjoyed the production. It was so stylish and full of talent, catchy songs and great comedy, it cannot be missed! Keep reading to find our five reasons to see Be More Chill.
1. The entire cast is so talented
Many of the cast are at the beginning of their careers with a handful of credits under their belts which makes this show so exciting to see all this excellent emerging talent on stage. The whole cast do a sterling job, nobody lacks any gusto and it’s obvious how much they are throwing themselves into this show. Scott Folan is fantastic as the lead, Jeremy; his acting is completely believable and it’s great to see him depict the characters growth through the show. The voices of the cast are wonderful too – Renée Lamb (Jenna Rolan) smashes quite a few notes right out of the park which gets a great reaction from the audience and Blake Patrick Anderson slays “Michael in the Bathroom”.
2. It’s really funny
As the story revolves around an awkward, unpopular kid in high school, the jokes come naturally to the script and land so well. The buzz in the theatre about this show really hypes up the punchlines – Millie O’Connell plays up her comedic parts so well and her facial expressions have everyone in stitches. Once again the whole cast provide many laughs through the show, it’s just full of well written material.
3. It’s relatable
So many people seeing Be More Chill will have felt like the loser or left out at some point in their life. This show does feel very much designed for high school students as it will resonate so well with their current situations but it’s something that so many people have felt through their lives. The friendship between Michael (Anderson) and Jeremy (Folan) is endearing too, as Michael begins to be left out you feel so sorry for him too.
4. The visuals are so good!
The backdrop of the stage is lit with a huge screen that changes to set each scene. We’ve seen screens used before at & Juliet and Dear Evan Hansen but never completely filling the set. It works so well with the sci-gi/technology themes of the show, working to emphasise the power of The Squip. The screen allows the stage to be empty (bar a few chairs or tables) for the whole cast to be on most of the time to create each scene with their movement too.
Not only does the screen make the show such a visual delight but the costumes are brilliant too (designed by Bobby Frederick Tilley II). Vibrant colours and styles make each character stand out. As act 2 begins with Halloween, the costumes are all fabulous and outlandish, much like the style of the show
5. The choreography is so slick
Choreographed by Chase Brook with 32 original original works of dance theatre, it’s no wonder the movement in this show is so captivating. The speed and precision of the dancing is so good and impressive on such a small stage. “2 Player Game” stands out with Jeremy (Folan) and Michael (Anderson) playing Xbox and dodging enemies as they engrossed in their game in perfect harmony. This choreography also impressively uses the backdrop screen too as the boys kick and punch their way through the song.
All in all, Be More Chill is an exciting musical that while may not be an original concept of a greater evil taking over an innocent protagonist (Little Shop of Horrors), it’s aimed at a new generation and is created with such style, that template can be overlooked. Awesome party we’re so glad we came!
Be More Chill is currently booking at The Other Palace in London until 2nd May 2020. Click here to book your tickets!