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Manband – They’re Not A Boyband - One4Review

StoppedClock may have been Fringe virgins but they have four productions on between us, Geoff and I had already seen 3 and thoroughly enjoyed them. With a spare hour at just the right time I made my way to Sweet ECA for ‘Manband – They’re Not A Boyband’ to complete the set and I was so glad I did. Having seen ‘Ed: The Musical’ I had hoped for more singing despite Manband being in theatre, we are teased with a little live music and it left me wanting more. Christian (Chris Grahamson) has moved back in with his ex-wife and daughter, but is in total disgrace for not only forgetting her 10th birthday but also by not getting the tickets he promised for her favourite boy band. When the supermarket chain he works in runs a competition to find an act to represent the company on a TV advert two of the judges just happen to be half of the members of said boyband. Could this be the chance not only for his daughter to meet the boys but also for him to get back in to his x-wife’s good books? Assisted by his best friend the hunky musician Jason (Dean Elliott), with whom he used to be in a band long ago, their other friend Ryan (David Beck) who is anticipating the immanent birth of his first child and finally Tom (Neil Frost) a mathematical genius who works in the shop, a new band is created.  The problem is only two of them can sing and not one of them can dance! The storyline is lovely with all its little twists and all the other little threads running round the main theme. It is well directed and the use of stools and chairs very clever. One of my favourite scenes is where Jason plays his guitar and sings whilst the other three look on and you see the dawning light in Tom’s normally dull and down face and eyes.  The performers are all superb and some of the little extra touches make this a very special production. With a little adaptation it could be developed in to either a full length play or with a little extra work would lend itself fully to become a bonafide musical. Stuart Price who wrote this play has already written “Ed” the musical.  The potential is there either way and the cast have all the talent required. I’d certainly become a fan of this particular ‘Manband’! ****

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