Guy: A New Musical is funnily enough a new musical about gay dating for men in the 21st century. As part of The Bunker’s Breaking Out Festival it’s created by Leoe&Hyde, a Manchester based musical theatre company who specialises in real life characters – coincidentally with previous shows such as ‘The Marriage of Kim K’, which premiered in 2017.
We quickly get introduced to our protagonist, Guy. He’s a big guy ‘build of chocolate and shame’ as he’s described by a gym freak, in a very big pond full of online dating and judgement based on looks. He has sort of a Josh Gad feel about him, but instead of being over the top funny, we see him as a real and loveable character – at least in the beginning. When a catfish situation happens, he starts making choices that doesn’t go with the warm character we were introduced to and not just in ‘everyone has flaws’ kind of way. Other than that the characters are very real and represent the gay, male dating scene extremely well. Especially when they portray the catfishing, they use another actor than the catfisher and it’s so incredible believable, without even trying too hard. Very impressive acting that will leave no one to question who he is meant to portray.
The songs in the musical are catchy, funny and clever. The music is lovely, almost electronic pop, but the singing isn’t quite up to the standard one would expect when watching a musical. Half the times the harmonies are fine and sound great, but the other half notes are missed, and the result is professional music, but school level singing. It is hard to tell who the notes are missed by, and as Seann Miley Moore who was part of the live shows in X factor 2015 has a beautiful voice, there’s a high chance that the problem stems elsewhere. Regardless, the music is still enjoyable as the missed notes actually makes the show and characters more real.
To someone over the age of 40 the dialogue might sound unrealistic and over the top. To anyone who’s ever been to a gay bar the dialogue is actually quite real and funny, the modernity of the language is captured excellently. There is some nice choreography, although at times a tad too interpretive for the genre, which almost created a disconnect with the realism that has been established. The story line contains parts where it either just has some flaws or it might just happen too fast to acknowledge what is happening and how it escalates so fast. Either way towards the end it becomes a bit confusing to follow. It is still a great and funny show, that is worth watching for a giggle or a ‘I know, babe, same’ feeling.