MUSIC OWL AWARDS: 3rd – lyrics
When I went: 10 August 2016
Location: Old Vic, London
Performers: Andy Karl (Phil), Carlyss Peer (Rita), Eugene McCoy (Larry), Georgina Hagen (Nancy)
Creative team: Tim Minchin (music and lyrics), Matthew Warchus (director), Danny Rubin (book – based on screenplay by Rubin and Harold Ramis), Rob Howell (set design), Peter Darling (choreography), Scott Rudin (original lead producer)
Approximate price: £90
Special points: Staging
Best bit: Pre-interval song
If I could change one thing: More killer songs
Tim Minchin hit a winner with Matilda so it made sense for him to pair up with Matthew Warchus again for his treatment of Groundhog Day, a story made famous by the Bill Murray film. The book is strong and moving, and manages to hold the audience’s interest even though it by definition needs to repeat a lot of the same material, and Tim Minchin’s lyrics are as witty as ever. However, I don’t think the musical numbers are anywhere near as strong as in Matilda.
Andy Karl had the difficult task of taking on the role of Phil associated with Bill Murray, but I thought he did a great job and managed to be likeable despite his characters less appealing qualities. Carlyss Peer was pitch-perfect as Rita and Georgina Hagen sung beautifully in her number as Nancy.
I actually saw this while it was still in previews so the kinks may still be being worked out, but I thought all the staging, which was very complex, worked like clockwork and the props were used to great effect.