Review by Carly Fisher
It is easy to become quickly impressed with the team at Baby Wants Candy and so after seeing their production of Shamilton earlier in my Edinburgh Fringe week, I definitely wanted to catch their signature show simply titled by the group’s name Baby Wants Candy.
As an improvised musical theatre performance, the premise of the show is simple - each night, based entirely on title suggestions from the audience, a new musical is created. It is, as they say, the opening and closing night of that show as no two Baby Wants Candy shows are ever the same. As they go, accompanied by a four piece band, the show offers an exciting blend of vocals, comedy, some spontaneous choreography, a rap battle, and more.
Most impressive in this is the sheer speed at which these performers work. Clearly experts at improvisation, they work seamlessly as an ensemble to support one another and fulfill the single most important rule of improvisation - ‘yes, and.’ Most amusing is that though they clearly have each other’s backs on stage, they are not afraid either to really challenge one another - once you say something, you best believe that someone on the team is going to hold you accountable to that offer!
Much like my time in the audience of Shamilton unfortunately I was there for a show with a theme I just did not care for. This is the hardest part of attending a show like Baby Wants Candy - there is just no guarantee that what you will see will hold any appeal to you. The performance I was there for was a musical of Dr Poo…not my thing! To their credit, the excellent team on stage did do what they could to try and steer it away from becoming a regurgitation of grade 7 boy jokes and instead crafted an intricate villain v hero plot that traced its way through history - allowing for some great jokes and songs to be created about historical figures starting with Jesus.
Ali Reed stands out vocally amongst the team - she is fast paced, has a great singing voice and importantly, jumps into every scene to support in any way that she can - be that fanning Cleopatra or rubbing Jesus’ feet, she is there for her team and it shows.
Matt Castellvi is a great host and then continues to jump in with great offers throughout the show. I loved watching him laugh too when he was off in the corner - there is something so authentic and enjoyable about watching strong comedians appreciating the work of others and celebrating their teammates - it was awesome to watch.
Will Naameh is hilarious both in his offers and in his interaction with the rest of the group. A true highlight of the show was watching Naameh challenge Nathan Jansen to rattle off 10 historical figures in perfect rhyme - just awesome. And yes…he did it.
I would love to give a shout out to the hilarious comedian who took on the role of Jesus and whilst I cannot find his name (and I really did give it a good instagram stalk!!), I seriously appreciated his work, his repetition to highlight the comedy and his skill.
All in all, I would 100% go back to a Baby Wants Candy show…I just hope that next time I get a significantly better topic to watch!!