Review I Need a Doctor – The Whosical by Hannah Goslin

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In the quaint basement of the Leicester Square Theatre, a minimal set with popular dance songs relating to Doctor Who (the worldwide Sci Fi show by the BBC) or in relation to the name, played as we entered – a box like structure the centre piece, covered in a black sheet.

This comedic yet purposefully amateur staged production brings the story of two die-hard Doctor Who fans, attempting to put on a short musical summing up 50 years of the story. Due to copyright and their failure at getting the BBC and key figures involved, they are thrown into a turmoil, but with a sense that the show must go on. This leads to ropey costumes, doubling up of characters and ultimately chaos.

With the intimate nature of this small space, the addition to the rejection of the celebrities added a form of comedy – the thought of them saying yes being less likely in such a scenario. It also brought a sense of connection with the audience, however there was a lack of interaction with the audience that could have been utilised very easily.

The story itself referred to many key concepts and repetitions in the show as well as references to West End and popular musicals – this was cleverly done in musical form with the accompaniment of a keyboard player using all the standard synthesised music on a keyboard, adding to the amateur feel that they had tried to express, and through moments of scripted descriptions of audience opinions of the show – for example, stating that they have arrived on another planet that for once does not look similar to a part of Cardiff – The show well-known to be filmed in this location.

These moments provided side-splitting comedic moments along with the changes of names of characters, locations and props in order to avoid the copyright law. Their way of tripping over these sudden changes, again, were very funny and continuously surprising with their intelligent substitutes.

With only two cast members (three if counting the keyboard player) their relationship on stage gave them the ability to bounce of each other and convincingly at times to fool us into believing that there were problems and real arguments over the chaotic changes.

Overall, this small and definitely hilarious show is something to watch. More suited to recent fans, there was a lack of more references to pre-2005 classical Doctor Who and so may lose older fans. However, those who enjoy the entire 50 years, theatre in general and/or musical theatre specifically will find something that will hold their attention and give them a fun experience.

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