Review | ‘What Makes a Musical a Musical?’ is witty, funny & authentic

What Makes a Musical a Musical? | Subiaco Arts Centre | til Mar 6 | ★ ★ ★ ★ 

The venue was almost full and for a Tuesday evening on a school night that was a promising beginning for a hopefully enjoyable evening of theatre, song and movement.

The show centres around a writer and the voices of his subconscious mind. The performances started a little weak but ended strongly with delight and a sense of inclusivity.

The energy of the cast felt infectious and inspiring, it felt quite classical in its production with little need of props. Think sock puppets, throw in some philosophical awakening books and you get the idea.

The pop cultural references got the audience warmed up, encouraging laughter and applause. The creative process of being led into a man’s inner process was well mapped out and universal in its thought provoking context – with the simple gestures of the cast’s chemistry, lighting the small stage with use of space as well as their craft.

Whilst the singing was not always at a high velocity, the voices were generally strong and the ensemble cast really worked hard to create an entertaining banter and rhythm that carried the whole show. More intimate scenes revealed some tender and vulnerable moments that made show feel more real and authentic.

Although only 60 minutes this theatre production had a few very poignant scenes where the audience were pulled into the essence of the show itself, slinky metaphors that kept encouraging itself to go deeper into the main character and the audience felt the journey of the writers attempts to find his muse.

This was a memorable and admirable performance, and the show as a whole is worth watching with friends or lovers. This was one of the best fringe shows I’ve seen in quite some years, a sleeper hit that grabs you by the end and makes you wonder about the important things in life without being showy or obvious. Witty and funny and light!

What Makes a Musical a Musical is running at Subiaco Arts Centre until Saturday 6th March. For tickets and more information head to

Sean Rubin

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