In honour of the 50th year of the Doctor, a whole new adventure comes to Edinburgh…
FRINGE RUN: 2/8 – 26/8 (not 14,20) @ 14:30; Pleasance Beside (33); [£11.00/£10.00]
Who, Where and When: Stormy Teacup Theatre; Pleasance Beside; Friday 2nd August 2013
Being a somewhat dedicated Whovian, spotting I Need a Doctor: The Unauthorised Whosical Adventure in the theatre section was my Fringe planning discovery of the day. We made it only by the skin of our teeth, but it’s not the Fringe if you’ve not “only just made it” at least once!
A smile-inducing voicemail message preceeds calls from various Doctor Who stars (well impersonated, I presume, by Jamie and Jess) declining the offer to be in the show by way of introduction. This is followed by the first scene whereby Jamie (James Wilson-Taylor) receives a “cease and desist” letter from Stephen Moffat and as a result has had to rewrite the whole show to avoid using any BBC Copyright terms. This provides a number of funny jokes, but thankfully avoids becoming overused. There are some lovely references to other musicals including Wicked and Les Miserables which will please theatre geeks in attendance.
The songs are brilliantly done, and I still have the theme song of “I need a Doctor” as sung by Jess (Jessica Spray) running in my head days later. I particularly enjoyed the Bossa Nova version of the Doctor Who theme tune as played by the tireless keyboardist (who, sadly, I don’t know the name of).
The story runs through a delightfully Whovian (if Scooby Doo-vian!) plot, but while the Doctor and his Companion are vanquishing the monsters, Jamie and Jess’ friendship seems to be underpressure…
Jamie and Jess not only do a fabulous job of bringing life to the (Non-BBC Copyrighted) companion Fiona McFeisty (Jess) and the Slime Monster, the Doctor, the Master and a few others besides (Jamie), but they also genuinely appeared to be good friends trying to put on a show together. I can’t fault their boundless enthusiasm or their acting as its their personality which brings life to all the comedy.
If only there was a hope of a few of the songs being released, but alas that might induce a real cease and desist letter. So, I can’t list any notable songs, but why not be inspired to write your own Who-inspired tune?
This is an excellent family show and an excellent fan show with two charismatic actors who seem set to carry of this show to great applause right to the end of their run. In fact, I’m almost tempted to go back this weekend to see how the script has evolved to incorporate the latest Doctor Who news. If you’ve come to the Fringe for postmodern theatre, edgy issues or shocking theatre, this is not it – but there’s definitely something in it for everyone else.
Rating ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (5/5)