Sunday, February 25

Runesical – Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

Runesical is the new online gaming Musical from Alex Prescot and Sam Cochrane.

Join the magical game of choices as the players fight enemies mythical and real in this glorious musical romp.

As new musical concepts go I was a little sceptical upon entry, but very happy to say I was very quickly converted.

A Hamiltonesque expositional starting song could’ve used some extra diction but from then on, the cast are fantastic and zip through multi-rolling and pastiche on a speedy hour.

The real joy in the production is in the detail, avid gamers will appreciate the pauses where characters are frozen in statis. Interaction with npcs and game language all bringing identity and clever in jokes.

Our Hero Lance (Tonny Shim) is a stroppy teen with a hatred for his stepsister and plays it just right. The whole cast are actor musos with the band specifically being particularly skilled at their craft. Additional shout to TJ Douglas-Welsh whose vocals are spectacular – would be highly surprised if they’re not a household name soon.

One of the innovative ‘choices’ in the show is to allow audiences to customise their experience by making… you guessed it Choices (choices, choices, choices,). Using the popular gameplay experience to pick characters journeys and costumes with audience participation comes across less as a gimmick and more as a necessary part of any gaming/musical experience.

Songs are catchy and feed the musical theatre tropes but with originality and clever orchestrations.

Plot twists a plenty and lots of fun, would recommend to all ages.

You can see Runesical at Gilded Balloon, Patter Hoose, 9-14 + 16-28, 15:20. For further information and tickets click HERE.

Reviewer: Natalie Goring

Reviewed: 8th November 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★