A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day
01 June 2023
The Old Vic
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Another in the line-up of 90s movies turned musical, it’s the biggest trend of the decade it seems! This time it’s Groundhog Day, the quirky film about an arrogant weather reporter getting stuck in a time-loop that forces him to become a better person.

The first thing that stood out to me was the stage design, with a large collage of frames attached to a metal framework shaped in swirls and snowflake shapes. The frames are used to project screens onto them before the show and during the interval, showing clips of Phil Connors presenting his weather report. The same design follows throughout the show, with each location getting their own down-sizes version with appropriate pictures within the frames, coffee cups and beans for the cafe, hot dogs, burgers and pie for the diner, and so on, pulling everything together through this imagery.

My favourite part of the set has to be Phil’s little B&B room he wakes up in every morning, built with a low ceiling and comically steep angles, the room appears comically small, trapping its occupant in confined space.

But let’s talk about the show itself! A time-loop isn’t the easiest thing to work with on stage, especially when the protagonist spirals out of control while repeating the same day over and over and over. Phil Connors comes across just as self-absorbed on stage as he does in the film, treating others with disdain and without consideration, plowing through his first visit to the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, with little regard. The script stays pretty close to the original story of the film, following Phil for the first few iterations of Groundhog day pretty closely, then speeding up to only show the highlights, the pivotal moments as the protagonist grapples with his faults, his missed opportunities, and tries to better himself, working out a meticulous plan to change the lives of those around him.

While the songs throughout the musical aren’t stand-out mega hits, they’re entertaining enough and very well performed! I enjoyed the production very much, definitely another hit on the movie-to-musical list!

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