The Other Palace – until 3 May 2020
Reviewed by Adam Craddock
When I got the offer to review “Be More Chill” at The Other Palace I didn’t really know the show bar one or two songs. After a quick google search I found, in hindsight, quite possibly the most accurate description of this show there is… “Dear Evan Hansen crossed with Mean Girls in the world of Little Shop of Horrors”. This show is absolutely mindbogglingly crazy yet a hilarious rip ride along the way. The show follows Jeremy, a teenage nerd at high school trying to be cool who takes a mystery Japanese supercomputer drug, a squip, and unlocks his coolness potential, but with grave consequences for all around.
Scott Folan was brilliant as Jeremy, with a lovable air about him even in the characters darkest moments and a falsetto as sweet as a nut. I really wouldn’t be surprised to see him make this bracket of lovable nerdy characters his own for the next few years to come. Christopher Fry was hilarious as Mr Heere, with exceptional comedic chops on full display. James Hameed and Renee Lamb we’re both good as Rich Goranski and Jenna Rolan respectively. Miracle Chance was exceptional as Christine Canigula, striking the perfect balance of lovable nerdy without it being sickening. This was one of my favourite characters in the show. Stewart Clarke and Eloise Davies we’re both strong as the Squip and Brooke Lohst respectively, with Clarke having some strong singing chops and Davies having a beautiful realism in her display of the second choice friend. Miles Paloma was great as Jake Dillinger, with his strong dance ability on display in this fairly limited movement show. Millie O’Connell was very strong as Chloe Valentine, with her amazing character work and acting ability showing another side to her performers catalogue than what you would have seen in Six, this was really nice to see! However, the absolute highlight of the night for me was Blake Patrick Anderson as Michael Mell. He showed his great acting and singing chops off to their fullest when he belted out “Michael in the Bathroom” in early act 2. This number really stood out to me and made me want to jump out of my seat and applaud it.
The direction of the show was really good with exceptional use and integration of the AV aspects and the minimal set. Costume design was brilliant, particularly in the party with some spot on outfits. The choreography was a little strange but for some reason it really worked within this absurd piece of theatre.
Overall, I would highly recommend going to see “Be More Chill” at The Other Palace while it is still playing. Don’t expect anything too serious, but if you want a hilariously geeky night with your friends, get yourself down there now!