Review: Splinters Theatre Company onto a winner in Loserville

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Bespectacled geeks and beautiful girls make a strange combination in the musical Loserville - just like the fanciful notion half a century ago that computers would be able to communicate with each other.

The show traces the invention of the internet married to a timeless tale of love in its many different guises, from a passion for work to attractions to soulmates to obsessive sci-fans.

It’s brought to Sheffield’s Montgomery Theatre this week by Splinters Theatre Company in a colourful, energetic production in which imagination runs riot.

Out-of-this-world scenes include a visit to Loserville Planetarium in which film footage gives an impression of hurtling through space while dancers holding colour-changing orbs whirl around the darkened stage.

Act two opens with a sci-fi convention where images of Star Trek flash up on the screen and the cast are dressed as favourite characters from Thunderbirds and Doctor Who with Batman and Superman among the motley crew.

Panels either side of the stage light up to display the connectivity of computers which are housed in neon-coloured desks, absorbing the audience in a subject which could otherwise be rather dull for the non-geeks.

Central to all this is the blossoming love affair between nerdy Michael Dork and space-obsessed Holly Manson.

Richard Granger gives a powerhouse performance as misfit Michael, his hunched shoulders adding to the awkward body language of someone who is socially inept.

Lucy Keeton plays Holly, a beauty with brains, who tones down her look to pursue her quest of being the first female astronaut. Lucy’s opening song was marred by mic problems at the launch show last night (Wednesday) but the technical issue didn’t knock her off her stride.

Great support comes from Matthew Bevan, Connie Campbell and Digory Holmes who play Michael’s sci-fi obsessed mates and resemble Scooby Do’s human gang.

Joseph Oliver Walker plays the arch villain, self-bsessed Eddie whose desperation to win his techno tycoon dad’s approval drives him to blackmail Holly with saucy pictures from her past.

Jointly penned by Elliott Davis and James Bourne, the script is accompanied by pumping pop songs which is only to be expected in a show co-written by a member of boy band Busted.

This production is directed by Adam Luke Walker with musical direction by Nick Plummer-Walsh and choroegraphy by Aggie Gryszel and Mark Harris.

So get your geek on and get off to Loserville for a winning show which is running until Saturday, September 24.