Whether you are a diehard fan of Breaking Bad or just want to know what the story is about without sitting through 5 seasons, Say My Name is for you. If you haven’t seen the show, a few jokes might be lost on you but overall it remains very accessible to all. You’ll enjoy the comedy whether you get the ins and outs of the characters. Say my Name is the unauthorized parody that turns the 62 hour Breaking Bad story into a 90 minute musical comedy.
Breaking Bad is an American award winning series which tells the story of Walter White, a struggling and depressed high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with lung cancer. To secure his family’s financial future before he dies, Walter decides to turn to a life of crime by producing and selling crystallized methamphetamine.
Say my Name is the work of a “massive fan”, Rob Gathercole, and coincides with the 10th anniversary of the show. Over the course of the show, Walter descends deeper and deeper into evil and becomes the ultimate anti-hero driven by his pride. The show raises the issue of substance abuse and its destructiveness – there is betrayal, lies and manipulation and it’s all very cleverly and funnily told in Say My Name. The sinful nature of Walter White was simply laid dormant until it was awakened by the circumstance. The sudden lack of constraint and inhibition, allows Walter to be the person that he truly is.
This parody is smart and extremely well executed with some very inventive storytelling such as a spoons puppetry. There are also some very catchy songs such as the “The Motherf***ing DEA” led by Hank (Scott Brooks). The show is performed by a cast of six actor-musicians, who are all multi-talented. They can act, sing, play guitar, bass, piano, flute, violin, saxophone, trumpet to name a few. They can rap, sing rock and country… the list goes on. Their transitions on stage are seamless and the cast works very well together. Olivia Warren is hilarious as Tio but also owns the stage as Skyler. Rebecca Levy gives a very convincing gender-bending performance as Jesse and can morph into the sassy Gretchen at a drop of a hat. Scott Brooks, Rob Gathercole and Edward Hole make excellent Hank, Saul and Tuco respectively. Finally, Matt Tweddle nails the role of Walter White with an admirable commitment to the part.
Say My Name shows what talent and creativity is all about. It plays at Theatre N16 until November 2nd.