Piece of Me

Piece of Me, a nostalgic, excessive comedy musical, is a delightful throwback to the 90s, complete with swish choreography. If you thought you were cool when you were 8, this musical will prove you probably were!

After being introduced to Claire, Chloe, and Natalie, we are soon plunged into the peak Britney era, when these young girls wanted to become famous and start their own band: "Babyface Bland." But as kids, they indeed can't perform the numbers live. They have no actual band, so queue the music video—it's time to watch a lip sync! 

In a whole new take on a musical genre, this lip-sync pop musical felt like it was set inside a high school drama studio, and it worked! The audience felt in on every joke, and Britney would be proud of the catchy tracks.

Written and starring Claire Gaydon (ft a song from her childhood band) with Yasser Zadeh and Alex Roberts, these three were so determined in their roles that their performances were painfully hilarious and entertaining. The roles of Natalie and Chloe were cast to male presenting actors who took on the expressions of stroppy and hilariously stereotypical girls perfectly. Matched by their compere Claire, the story is then told. 

Adults playing as children can either go really well or be uncomfortable. This was both. It was uncomfortably hilarious, a niche comedy, but genius in creating a particular style. It knew what it wanted to be, and it just did it. 

Ironically, part of the show was not knowing which modern topics they wanted to cover. Although the show seemed to have stemmed from relating Britney Spears being harassed by the press to the rise of CCTV, it was surprisingly thought-provoking and ingenious, sparking a sense of engagement and stimulation. Then, through a time jump, we rejoin the trio, previously known as Babyface Bland, as they navigate adult lives and get the band back together. 

We then rewind and see what would have happened instead if the group started a facial recognition security company instead. While the plot was deliberately messy, the morale that celebrities are people too was clear...and Britney can inspire you to do or be whoever you want.

At times, clips of Britney and shots of CCTV were projected onto the back wall. While these were well-produced videos, they didn't add much and could have been replaced with something more creative and on theme.

The fourth wall was often broken, and the audience was spoken to as though we had been transported into a Q&A or interview with the cast. This mockumentary, which was very 'The Office-esque' and created awkward humour at its best. 

Featuring hip-hop pop numbers designed to come from the childhood band, they really are bops, and the whole show was almost as good as an entire school assembly...almost.

This show was reviewed on the 23rd May 2024 at Camden People's Theatre, London where it runs until the 1st June 2024.  Tickets available here: Piece of Me | Camden People's Theatre | Comedy (cptheatre.co.uk)

Review written by Ryan Lenney


Photo credit: Harry Elletson

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