EDINBURGH 2011: BWW Reviews: THE SELFISH GENE, Zoo Roxy, Aug 12 2011
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by Julia Hogg
Inspired by Richard Dawkins' book of the same name, a biologist attempts to explain the origins of life within the context of a family's real world trials. The piece follows a 'typical' family as they navigate the trials of a normal day, all the while with a biologist popping up from nowhere to try and commentate on their situation in terms of the origins of life.
While I have to admit that I'm not a biologist, I do have enough rudimentary knowledge of the subject area to appreciate the premise of the show. In execution, however, the show was a little disappointing. While there were some good lyrics and catchy hooks, the majority of the song writing was inconsistent, often lacking structure within the melodies. While there were some genuinely funny moments, the show suffered from weak vocals and overacting from some (though not all) cast members. I'm sure that from a biologist's point of view the show would have been a lot more entertaining, but from a musical theatre point of view the flaws were harder to get past.
A show with potential but needs a little more work, or perhaps is better suited to being a play.