Edinburgh Review: Buzz

Edinburgh Review: Buzz

Buzz has a Legally Blonde flair, albeit with a more adult theme than going to law school to win back your man, before realising you’re better than him. Self-confidence and feminism are still the main messages to come out of the show, but it’s more a case of not needing man’s little friend when you’ve got your own bigger, battery operated version. Main protagonist Angie (Allie Munro) starts by getting dumped, ends by chucking ex-boyfriend Mark (George Lock) to the kerb in favour of her very own Anne Summers. It may sound cheesy – in many ways it is – but the feel-good, love yourself factor is what makes Buzz so pleasurable.

It’s only fitting that a feminist musical would champion and highlight the female musical theatre performers and Buzz is no exception. Best friend Chrissy (Robyn Grant) is the vocal powerhouse of the group, belting out those top notes with no shame and plenty of spunk. She’s the Karen to Angie’s Grace, the comedy factor of fuck them and then fuck off – a balls to the wall performance that contrasts the British meekness when it comes to talking about orgasm.

A musical about the history of the vibrator isn’t complete without some serious innuendo. But there are also some interesting messages about the subjugation of women throughout the centuries –in Ancient Greece and Egypt female sexuality was revered, so where along the line did it go so wrong? Not with Cleopatra (Rosie Raven), that’s for sure. It’s a risky narrative move to jump back in time for caricature-styled musical interludes. Raven pulls off the Egyptian queen, but Aphrodite (Simon Dillon) takes it a step too far. The highlight here are the Victorians, an informative and intelligent scene that shows women going to the doctors to be wanked off. Apparently, if untreated these feelings cause hysteria and mental breakdowns. Thank god for being fingered by your GP.

The central character in Buzz is pretty predictable. Angie (Munro) is sexually vanilla, let loose by being dumped and discovering the perks of a singleton lifestyle. It’s a lazy part that has been concocted many times before, but Munro injects comedy and a likeability to instantly curry favour with the audience. There’s more than a little bit of Miranda Hart in her performance, a narration to the fourth wall that keeps the story moving along and a realistic reaction to the slightly bizarre throwback scenes. It helps that Angie is as perturbed by figures from the past appearing in her flat as the audience are.

The final to Buzz comes up too fast in the narrative, a conclusion that is inadequately prepared for or signposted. But the feelings leaving the theatre is one of jollity and happiness. This is an uplifting, sitcom-styled musical. While definitely not being family friendly, it gives you a similarly warm feeling of hope that the singleton is not missing out on life.

 

Buzz: The Musical plays Pleasance Courtyard as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 until 28 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.

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