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Help! We Are Still Alive- musical review

★★★


If you're after a new queer musical about life at the end of the world, then the Seven Dials Playhouse is the place to be. In the 80 minute long piece (exactly the right length for this), Help! We Are Still Alive follows Jass and Finn as they record their experiences through a post-apocalyptic world.


Having navigated so much together, Finn (Elijah Ferreira) has had two proposal attempts rejected and his relationship with Jass (Jade Johnson) is taking the strain. But with no-one else on Earth, what choice does she have? Attempting to keep their bond alive- when nothing else is- has its ups and downs, though despite the tribulations, the pair value the companionship, and the chemistry between the characters wonderfully depicts that.


With often hilarious and relevant quips from the outset, this spin on the situation makes light of their isolation, after 'the fog' that seemingly wiped out everyone else. Having to live on tinned food from their local Sainsbury's, and trying to remain vegan was an impossible struggle for the pair, who eventually had to learn to fish. Finn jokes though, about being able to raid pharmacies for testosterone rather than being on a waiting list for years.


Their storytelling is fundamental to the piece, and the dynamics of the duo result in an absorbing recollection of events, without needing an enthralling set. Props such as a shopping trolley, shovel and voice recorders seem to fit the performance to be enough, as the plot is centred around recalling their narrative, rather than creating it.


As for the score, it is lyrically charming, and fits well with the piece, as many of the tracks are accompanied by Finn on the guitar. However, they are fairly limited to play in conjunction with the plot, and generally not anything particularly special (though The Pineapple Song is great). In all vocally, both cast members do display skilful compositions.

Despite a few minor mishaps that only added to the comedy aspect of the piece, the characters are written and developed well, with Elijah and Jade bringing great things to their personalities. The concept of the narrative has fair capacity too, but the ending has elements of ambiguity. Help! We Are Still Alive is a joyous little musical, with lots of laughs and posing an interesting questions about love.



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