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Tuesday, 8 October 2019

REVIEW: tick, tick... BOOM! at The Bridge House Theatre

Before there was ‘RENT’, there was ‘tick tick... BOOM!’. Jonathan Larson, the genius writer who changed the shape of the modern musical, wrote ‘tick tick... BOOM’ created this autobiographical musical about an aspiring composer, aptly named Jon, in 1990, living in New York and struggling with his career choice. It was originally performed by Jonathan as a solo piece of work. It wasn’t until after his death in 1996, when it was revamped by playwright David Auburn and turned into the three hander that is currently on display at The Bridgehouse Theatre. 

Directed by Guy Retallack and lead by Alex Lodge, this musical is a 90 minute, no-interval, whirlwind that will please your ears and your eyes but leave your bum a little numb when it’s done. The venue is small and slightly uncomfortable but nonetheless a great stage for a musical such as this. It’s limited set allowed the actors more space to work and gave the appropriate ‘New York apartment in the 90’s’ feel. It was complimented by a beautiful lighting design, flawlessly executed by Richard Williamson. It’s rare that you see such slick transitions in venues outside of the West End. The sound design by Phil Lee was minimal yet impressive. However, in a venue that doesn’t require the actors to wear microphones, I feel the levels of the bad were slightly too tentative. In this case, unnecessarily, as all three actors voices could easily soar over the top of a louder backing. 
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