Review by Tatum Stafford
Held in one of the most unique Fringe venues I’ve been in so far (Bunker Three, a literal bunker which is humorously called out as an intriguing location once during this show), ‘MUSIC’ is a quirky story with a lot of ideas, props, and onscreen graphics that made for a chaotic and fun hour of theatre.
The show tells the story of Dave, a receptionist at streaming service Stripefy, who dreams of being a full-time receptionist, both for himself and to help out his mum, who is seemingly addicted to collecting miniature figurines. When Dave accidentally swallows the Stripefy algorithm (in the form of a mandarin, naturally), he becomes a global megastar that uses AI technology to become the type of music any listener in the world wants to hear, based on their own algorithm and preferences.
Throw in a slew of quirky characters, including Dave’s eccentric boss, a mad scientist, and a few famous musicians, and you’ve got the story of MUSIC, which was admittedly, a little messy in its execution.
This is a two-man show, with one actor playing Dave, and the other actor playing absolutely everyone else (which is no mean feat, and he pulled this off with some impressive mannerisms and multi-role-playing skills). It’s clear the HangDog duo have fantastic chemistry and banter between them, which is always fun to watch.
As I’ve mentioned above, the plot is very convoluted and at times confusing, so you’ll definitely need to pay close attention to pick it all up. It does have quite a satisfying conclusion, and uses tech elements on a TV screen for plenty of visual gags that were very funny. I also enjoyed the musical elements of the show, and thought the minimal set was used very effectively – they have one desk with a bunch of add-ons, including props, a wig, and even an escape hatch that they both crawl through. It’s clear they have been very inventive in making the most of a small playing space by increasing the utility of this desk beyond sitting at it.
If you’re looking for a show with plenty of jokes and silliness, this may be the perfect Fringe show for you. It’s a lot of fun, and you’re bound to have a great time watching these two actors bounce off each other for an hour.