First up is Bombs Away! A Musical, a highly inventive and original kiwi musical written by Nic Sampson, Ryan Richards, Barnaby Frederic and Joseph Moore who also wrote the music.
Bombs Away are a bomb disposal unit of three guys (Nic Sampson, Calum Gittins, Ryan Richards) who didn’t get to graduate from the Royal NZ Bomb Squad Academy, but who, after 15 years of living in rural and domestic bliss, are brought out of retirement to counter terrorist activity threating NZ’s tourist industry. Their ineptitude and inability to defuse bombs sees much of NZ decimated. That is until they find the real terrorist in Auckland’s Sky Tower and history begins to repeat itself. Performed with verve and loads of energy, this is a witty and innovative production with lots of well-choreographed dance routines and catchy tunes. However the backing accompaniment was far too loud often drowning out many of the clever lyrics even with microphones. Once the sound is turned down and they lose the face mics and clean up the ending which is rather ragged, this will be a great show to bring back for a repeat season.
Theatre review - John Smythe'Just as we like our homegrown musical 'heroes' to be comically inept, so we enjoy wittily expository dialogue and lyrics, generic musical styles and piss-take choreography. 'open/close
Have we had a TV reality show about a bomb squad yet? If this trio of squaddies had been followed, their exploits would have either been quietly shelved or become the subject of multiple official enquiries.
Just as we like our homegrown musical 'heroes' to be comically inept, so we enjoy wittily expository dialogue and lyrics, generic musical styles and piss-take choreography. All are present in Bombs Away! A Musical, which premiered to an enthusiastic response at Bats last night.
The script by Nic Sampson, Ryan Richards, Barnaby Fredric and Joseph Moore (who also composed the music) is cleverly constructed with well delineated characters and twists in the right places.
Sampson plays AD, who appears to be the squad's leader but becomes too preoccupied, at the crucial moments when intense concentration is required, by his girlfriend-then-wife (one of many bit-parts played by Moore), not to mention the time-critical imperatives of suburban domestic life.
Happy-go-lucky Matt (Richards) is a coin-flipping chancer who believes we live in a 50/50 world and is happier with those odds than his colleagues are.
Ben (Calum Gittins) is the techno-boffin whose robots would be the ingenious solution to their problems if only he could get them to work.
Their major test at the Bomb Academy results in their dispersing to pursue other interests. It's 15 years later, at a Bomb Retrospective Exhibition at Te Papa, that they are reunited … and discover their dubious skills are needed.
Bombs are being planted in New Zealand's iconic tourist spots, threatening to destroy a crucial part of our economy. The squad reforms, voluntarily, and their attempts to defuse various bombs are less than heroic. Hell, they're only human, eh.
To read more, go to: http://theatreview.org.nz/reviews/review.php?id=4751
There is no secret that ‘there will be bombs’ in the brand new comedy-musical Bombs Away!.
The hilarious script written by Nic Sampson, Ryan Richards and Barnaby Fredric, complemented by a full-length musical score from Joseph Moore, can only be described as absurd, uplifting, full of life and the height of silliness.
The opening track includes a call to Muslim prayer followed by a song with Muslims and burkahs, but the show is not about Muslims and bombing. Although not Muslim myself, but having grown up in Malaysia I was pleasantly surprised that the writers decided not to resort to Muslim-bashing to make and tell their fantastical story. Instead the focus is on three NZ Bomb Academy dropouts A.D. (Nic Sampson), Matt Baker (Ryan Richards) and Ben (Calum Gittins) who couldn’t defuse a bomb if their lives depended on it.
Bombs Away! starts with A.D. hamming it up with some dance moves that exploded across the stage, followed the other two partners-in-crime who arrived with a Bang, playing the gellignite intellignite Ben and thicko dimbo Matt. And this is how we are introduced to the world’s worst bomb disposal ‘experts’ from New Zealand – a motley crew of well-meaning but utterly useless bastards really.
From the guys who brought you Comedy Festival hits Space Race and The Irrefutable Truth About Pet Food, Bombs Away! is as explosive as billed, and is where no Kiwi icon is protected.
To read more, go to: http://www.theatrescenes.co.nz/review-bombs-away-a-musical-comedy-festival/
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Malcolm West Side Story meets Hurt Locker - these guys were brilliant. I had seen the short and sweet incarnation of this play and was thrilled to see that they were able to extend it into a full length piece. The creatives involved have come up with a clever script, mirroring New Zealand culture in a very funny way, catchy tunes and monster ballads. There's a great story twist at the end. Highly recommend going along to see it!
TimA fantastic show with enough heart, humour and twists to send me back for a second night. Highly recommended, one of the top shows I've seen in the fest so far!
Jean SergentAs seen at BATS theatre. Brilliant show, really pulls out all the stops, gag after gag with a genuinely ingenious plot and brilliant performances all around. A+, would sing along again