11 November 2018
The Playground Theatre
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Being in lockdown due to the corona virus pandemic, I thought I’d use the time to work on my backlog of shows I never got around to review back when I actually saw them. I just don’t always have the time to write reviews right away and sometimes they just fall into an eternal backlog that I am now striving to work through! I actually viewed this production on 11 November 2018 and am writing the review with my theatre notes written during and after the performance.
Oh, I still remember this one very well! As a sci-fi fan, I of course had to check out a musical claiming to be all about fandom and sci-fi conventions! Indeed, Fanatical is set at a convention for the fictional sci-fi book turned tv series Angel 8, where fans can gather and of course meet the author. If you’ve ever been to a sci-fi convention, especially a fan run one, you’ll feel immediately at home with the set.
Apparently Angel 8 is a sci-fi show following a cargo ship captained by the fearless Iris Aucht. Trix, absolute superfan since the beginning, has created the convention, as well as run much of the fandom beforehand. But to everyone’s shock, the special guest and creator of the comic book the show is based on announces the cancellation of the show, leading to high emotions from the fanbase and a mad scramble to figure out what to do with this information.
The show is very funny and fast paced. It’s also a little predictable, unfortunately, but still very very entertaining. With many tropes very familiar to sci-fi fans, it feels a bit like home. The soundtrack is stunning and the cast are very clearly having an absolutely brilliant time.
There’s definitely room for improvement, and fleshing out of some of the characters and storylines, but it’s a fantastic musical already and I enjoyed it so much!