Be More Chill, The Other Palace - ★★★★ - Until May 3, 2020

Photographer: Matthew Crockett.

Be More Chill is more than just your usual American high school angst piece. Yes, there is your geek who gets bullied, wants to be popular and thinks he'll never attain 'the girl.' But, you also get a lot more. This is a thoroughly contemporary show that deals with the role computers can play not just in work and personal lives but, perhaps, in the formation of our identity. What if we could take a pill and become the avatars to which we aspire, masters of the rules of the popularity game? This is the temptation Jeremy Heere (Scott Folan) is presented with. His Faustian bargain is to lose his real identity, but to become more chill. Folan does a terrific job as Jeremy and is totally believable as both the geek and in his upgrade. Miracle Chance is equally strong as Christine Canigula, the interestingly independent object of his affections. Stewart Clarke as The Squip, the computer implant that takes over Jeremy's personality is both hilarious and menacing, and Blake Patrick Anderson as Michael Mell is simply perfect. His rendition of "Michael in the Bathroom" was a definite high point for us. The rest of Joe Iconis' music and lyrics are good fun and have just the right chill feel. While the first act was a little slow, Joe Tracz has created a story that is much more interesting than the usual run-of-the-mill teenage outsider narrative, plus you get zombies and a riff on A Midsummer Night's Dream. And, for all of us who may have been tempted by a chill pill in one form or another, this is a very amusing look at what might be the real price of escape from our authentic selves.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until May 3, 2020
Mon - Sat: 7:30 pm
Thu & Sat: 2:30 pm, Sun: 4 pm
The Other Palace
Nearest station: Victoria
https://lwtheatres.co.uk/whats-on/be-more-chill/

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