Babies The Musical

Babies, a new born musical, is a charming and lively show. With Music, Lyrics and Orchestrations by Jack Godfrey, an incredibly catchy song and a highlight for me is "Baby Baby Baby." It’s so infectious that during the interval and after the show the theatre buzzed with audiences singing the tune.

The story unfolds with Year 11 students tasked with looking after electronic babies. While this is the overarching plot, the babies serve more as a catalyst for the teenage drama that ensues. The first act sets the stage, introducing us to the characters and their challenges, from breakups and exam pressures to the universal trials of teenage life. The formula for success here is a series of heartfelt solos supported by ensemble performances, each revealing more about the characters and their personal journeys.

Max Mulrenan, making his professional debut as Ben, was a standout. His comedic timing and delivery of some of the play’s best lines had the audience laughing and cheering throughout. His on-stage girlfriend, Becky, played by Jaina Brock-Patel, adds another layer of entertainment, especially with her social media dramas. Their relationship, from being the ‘perfect’ couple to navigating parenthood, party mishaps, and beyond, was a joy to watch.

Viola Maisey also makes a notable debut as Grace, whose scenes with Zoe Athena (Leah) and Ashley Goh (Alex) felt genuine and heartfelt. Their portrayal of teenage friendships and the trials they face was both relatable and touching.

One of the show’s highlights was the number "Hot Dad," performed by the male-presenting characters. This fun, energetic number included a bit of audience participation and culminated in a mic (or baby bottle) drop, adding to the show's charm.

Set and Costume Designer Jasmine Swan did a top job on the costumes. The school uniforms were personalised to reflect each character's personality, from a dancer's Pineapple sweater under her blazer to various interpretations of how a uniform can be worn. The set featured two metal towers on either side of the stage, used for scenes at clifftops. While the turning towers didn’t significantly add to the production's meaning or viewpoints, they did create different levels for the performers. The sight of Mulrenan standing at the edge of one tower near the end, without any safety barrier, was surprisingly tense in today’s world of health and safety.

Martha Geelan's book captures the essence of today’s teens so accurately that I’d love to see the reactions of actual Year 11 students. They might even see themselves reflected in the characters and situations on stage.

"Babies" is a production that many schools will likely adopt for their own performances. With each character having a solo and distinct characteristic, budget-friendly costumes, and a simple set primarily needing levels or zones, it's an accessible and engaging show for student performers. The only essential prop are those adorable and troublemaking electronic babies!.

In summary, "Babies" is a delightful, relatable musical that delivers laughs, catchy tunes, and touching moments, making it a must-see for anyone who enjoys a peek into the chaotic world of teenage life.

This show was reviewed on the 12th June 2024 at The Other Palace, London where it runs until the 14th July 2024.  Tickets available here: Babies The Musical - The Other Palace Theatre

Review written by Valentine Gale-Sides


Photo credit: Matt Crockett

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