A new musical by leoe&hyde about searching for a soulmate in the modern gay world. Nicole Acquah reviews GUY: A New Musical

Guy (Brendan Matthew) is, like many others, searching for his soulmate. Only trouble is he is a shy and overweight individual, trawling through potential matches on the app Grindr, where it seems every man he meets judges him by physical appearance alone.

As Guy tries to navigate the modern dating game, he meets Aziz (Seann Miley Moore). Together, the two men go on a journey of exercise regimes, self-love and even a wardrobe change, challenging Guy’s approach towards dating, masculinity and body image in the process!

GUY Breaking Out Bunker Theatre

Image courtesy of Simon J Webb

The electro-pop music is well-suited to GUY: A New Musical, all about the joys and perils of the millennial dating scene, with tracks ranging from cheesy and tongue-in-cheek romps like ‘Click’ and ‘Ho to Hopeless Romantic’ to the more touching ‘Is Your Body Who You Are?’ and ‘I Was a Man Once’. Some adjustment needs to be made to balance the sound levels – there are several moments where the singing is inaudible over the track, but that is a simple fix and overall doesn’t detract too much from the enjoyment of the show. These are songs that will stay with you for a while!

GUY Breaking Out Bunker Theatre

Image courtesy of Simon J Webb

GUY: A New Musical also strikes an impressive balance between humour and more serious issues. The show is well-paced and the scenes slickly transitioned. Guy’s internal thoughts and anxieties are expressed through occasional but highly effective pockets of physical theatre, alongside a haunting soundscape. Whilst the show occasionally loses us in its more melodramatic moments, the fantastic cast of four always recaptures with interest and imagination. Accolade must especially be given to Adam Braidley who unfaultingly brings the show back down to earth with a very truthful performance, and to Steve Banks, whose comedic timing as Guy’s close friend, Tyler, is superb.

GUY Breaking Out Bunker Theatre

Image courtesy of Simon J Webb

The show shows us how we can all struggle to find authentic connections in today’s world – whether it’s the physically fit Aziz unable to find an emotional connection, or the socially awkward Guy who buries himself in a mass of video game references. At least through gaming he get to ‘make things how [he] wants them to look like.’ Even Joe and Tyler have secrets of their own…

The main problem with the show is the narrative. There are several plot twists and ‘reveals’ that simply fall flat (perhaps because they aren’t shocking enough and, in some instances, fairly predictable). However, I highly recommend the show if you want an entertaining night filled with catchy music and a stellar cast!

 

 

★★★☆☆

GUY: A New Musical runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays until 7 July 2018, one of the Breaking Out plays as part of The Bunker Summer Season. For more information, please visit the venue website.