‘Shamilton’ is an absolute extravaganza, the absolute pinnacle of improv. The talent of every single person on stage, actors and band members alike is astonishing. Before the performance begins the audience must decide who they want to be the star of their own show. Suggestions ranged from Churchill to Cleopatra but in the performance I saw, the unanimous winner was Freddie Mercury. Then, once we had workshopped a few key traits, events and companions we were away. As an improv naysayer myself, I was not ready for how wrong the next hour was about to prove me.
We are taken on a genuinely emotional journey of Freddie’s life, from issues at home, to him embracing his sexuality and ultimately his untimely death. The cast freestyle lyrics that would rival Lin-Manuel Miranda himself. And if anyone has reservations over having not seeing ‘Hamilton’ then that is not a worry you need have, the show is enjoyable for everyone. It was tremendously impressive that the six actors not only held their own but elevated the show bar by bar. Their interactions are sidesplittingly funny to the point oxygen becomes a luxury. I have never seen so many bobbing shoulders in one place! They help each other out when someone gets muddled, this means that potentially awkward confusions become some of the most hilarious parts of the show. The music that accompany the actors throughout match their energy perfectly which creates the illusion of a planned show. The cast of ‘Shamilton’ astounded me.
Not only are we treated to a Freddie Mercury performance that could rival Rami Malek’s, but icons such as David Bowie, Elton John, Michael Jackson and the Sex Pistols play a vital role in cracking the audience up. The songs about unsafe sex and feeding Fat Bottomed Girls are undeniable highlights. Freddie and his Queens are truly rocking us. After a powerful Live Aid set in which the audience sang along, we were treated with the brilliantly absurd ending of Johnny Rotten curing AIDS, and the fact that that isn’t a spoiler is credit to the show. You could go back every single night and experience a new and wonderful fairy tale.
I left the theatre with a grin glued to my face after a well-deserved standing ovation. While you may not be able to see their performance of Freddie Mercury’s life, I implore you to go and see what whacky exaggeration unfolds next.
17:30 at Assembly George Square Studios (Venue 17)
August 5 – 28