Review: Bluff the Musical (online)

This audio musical comedy boasts a book by Matthew Cavendish (veteran of various Mischief Theatre), with music and lyrics by Ed Zanders.

Written for radio and home listening, Bluff the Musical has a sense of the ridiculous and the madcap as we visit the town of Paradise.

No one is what they same to be, and the music is resolutely and reassuringly old-fashioned. Each character has a huge personality, with Ryan Kopel’s sweet-natured Alec having more than a hint of Anthony Newley in Stop the World … mode.

This is in many ways a classic story of the underdog and a pushy bad gal, and when the library is “a stepping stone to the top” there’s a touch of the Milliganesque on show here too.

Promotional image for Bluff the Musical

Ellie Coote ably directs Kopel and the rest of the cast (Alex Young, Alan Cox, Bobbie Little, Jeremy Lloyd, Paula James and co-writer Cavendish). For just two weeks from 18 October you can listen for free.

Promoted as “an excellent musical” it has heart, hope, and hilarity. As Little’s Shirley seeks world domination, Alec instead sets out to do things the right and good way.

Plug in your headphones and enjoy the humour of a story supplemented by sound effects and “a side dose of happiness” as Bluff the Musical takes you on a journey where the downtrodden sometimes get the upper hand. Now and then the lyrics can creak but they fit in with the general style of the piece – just check out Alan Cox’s scene-stealing dad’s “positive attitude” as he and son do a … dance routine!

Bluff the Musical is a fully formed piece as it stands, but could also transfer to the stage with few tweaks. Close your eyes and conjure up the visuals when you listen from Monday 18 October at