This show was a huge surprise. Why? Based on the show’s marketing (containing lots of cartoonish avocados, and the attention-grabbing pictures of the stage and decor), I was expecting either a comedy or a super sarcastic play about Millennials. And I got… none of these, but I still had a blast!
And the award for the best, most innovative stage design goes to….
Let me start with that largest marketing magnet, which also made me get the tickets to see “Millennials the Musical”: the interior of The Other Palace’s Studio. It was transformed into an adult Insta-playground with all kinds of selfie-friendly props, filled with colours that look great on pics.
There are pink shimmery walls, rubber duckies, neon flamingos, beanbags, and of course – the ball pit. Show me one person who left this space without taking a selfie, I dare you. It’s simply impossible!
Get immersed in the music, don’t expect a coherent story
The musical itself is more of a concept album performed live, rather than a specific story that you could follow. Music and lyrics by Elliot Clay cover anything and everything related to Millennials as a generation and a social group: feeling “not good enough” (“Gen3r@tion No One”), working 3 jobs, the importance of not being a d*ck (“Four Little Words”) and the issues of self-confidence in the era of social media (“Masterpiece”).
The lyrics are pretty vague and don’t dive too deep or uncover anything that would be surprising to the audience (I was a little disappointed on this point). Almost like they don’t describe the actual titular generation – the texts could be applied to talk about any young group of people living their best lives in the last 20 years. It’s almost a universal play this way.
Millennials the Musical: songs are total bangers!
Music and composition-wise, the songs are complete bangers, and I was surprised to see them performed by a humble band of 2. The amount of work required of these two musicians to carry on a play like this is near impossible. Fantastic work, and a standing ovation to the band (Ehsaan Shivarani & Richard Burden).
During each song, actors bring out a different set of props, varying from mirrors to pink toilet paper or a hanging microphone. Some of the props are then thrown or used on the audience, which kept the general show energy incredibly high (nicely done!).
Would you jump on the avocado?
Even though the stage is small (avocado-shaped, of course), it also has a hidden trampoline disguised as a stone, which is however rarely used – I noticed actors making use of it and jumping in only 2 songs. Seemed to me like this part of the stage was a bit underused – but I do understand that singing while jumping is quite a feat.
The cast of 6 gets their solo moments as well as a couple of group songs. I felt like I most enjoyed the moments when the cast sang in harmonies – the voices just worked so well together! As a solo performer, Georgina Onuorah delivers an outstanding performance in “Remember the Feeling”. My favourite – also, most interactive and definitely the funniest/sarcastic piece was “Four Little Words”, performed by the edgy Rob Madge. Wish more of the show was kept in this self-aware, lighter tone! Or on the opposite, switched into a deeper exploration of the generation’s issues – there was nothing much said about dating/dating apps, changes in how people perceive relationships, etc, such a shame that this approach was lacking.
Millennials the Musical is a show that would make you totally happy if you:
- See it with your bestie
- Are an actual Millennial (even if your age doesn’t prove it – it’s all about how you feel inside)
- Come with an open mind and just go with the flow
- Are looking for a new set of selfies with a fun background
- Love rubber duckies (there are lots of them hidden in the studio)
If any of this is the case, you will love this production.
I had fun, I clapped along, I smiled like crazy whenever bubbles were blown from the stage, and I will forever be a huge fan of the music created by Elliot Clay. Were my expectations met? Not at all, but I still had a fantastic time, but I left unsatisfied because the show was so short (1:15 hour). Can I please get some more of this delicious show?
Produced by The Other Palace
Music and lyrics by Elliot Clay
Directed by Hannah Benson
Choreography by Tinovimbanashe Sibanda
Hiba Elchikhe (until 29 July)
Rob Madge (until 31 July)
Millennials runs from 8 July 2022 until 7 August 2022 at The Other Palace Theatre, London.