The German Club
Until 17 Mar 2017

Review by Jamie Wright

There may be a world in which a musical featuring a gaggle of foul-mouthed, pansexual garden gnomes leaving their home, encountering pirates and other creatures, and eventually feuding with mermaids/sirens might turn out to be a hidden gem – but, sadly, it’s not our world.

Yes, there is a place in theatre for ‘so bad it’s good’ – and, at times, “Gnomes vs Mermaids” inches in that direction. But then it’s cruelly yanked away by any number of problems, not the least of which is that it’s under-rehearsed (sometimes painfully so). The choice to include an interval was also bad one, since it took away any momentum they’d managed to build prior to the break.

The four-piece band – “The Jeremys” – were great. Cast performances were mixed at best, though Maddie Gray as Twig, Natasha Payne as Button and Simon Barnett as Pipe had some good moments. Some of the songs were both clever and funny, but even the best tended to the repetitive. Oh, and it’s always a good thing to remember that, if you’re going to have your cast moving to music at all, you need a choreographer. They’re not just for shows with big dance numbers.

With some more work – and some harsh-but-necessary cuts – this could be an enjoyable (if ridiculous) show the whole way through. But it’s not there yet.

Rating: 1 star (out of 5)