Baby Wants Candy: The Completely Improvised Full Band Musical is one of the most famous shows at the Fringe, packed every night and with a distinctive cherubian poster to alert its hoard of followers who come back year on year. I went along to see what the fuss was about.
It was good fun and the band was fantastic, easy to see why a Fringe favourite. As the show was improvised, the cast took inspiration from the audience for a title, ending up with “The Best Little Hairhouse in Edinburgh” to base the show upon. Considering, it went quite well.
First the scene was set by a non-musical dialogue between the actors, and once a simple plot had been established the group burst into song. Lyrics rhymed and were occasionally witty, and the usual predictable topical subjects cropped up, for example Brexit. Originating from the U.S., many of the actors’ Scottish accents were appalling, as was their French, but this only added to the comedy. The group acted out a happy jaunt round the stage, throwing jibes at one another and manipulating European stereotypes to keep the audience chuckling.
Whilst this was for the most part entertaining, there were times where the story lagged and the actors were not in sync with one another. Being an improvised musical, this is naturally difficult to achieve all the time, however even allowing room for this the show was not quite so expertly pulled off as other improvised shows and musicals at the Fringe. Usually the standard of singing in such productions makes up for the questionable lyrics and accidental actor interruptions, but the quality of singing here was not massively special and a lack of suspense in the storyline caused my interest to wane slightly as the show wore on.
That said, the cast looked as though they were enjoying themselves and this was infectious for the audience. The band played flawlessly and the atmosphere was one of the friendliest and most supportive I have experienced at this year’s Fringe.
The cast finished off the show by gifting some merchandise to members of the audience, including a personalised graphic T-shirt for the person who supplied the title, designed and printed backstage during the show, a rather quaint touch which I couldn’t help but be impressed by.
All in all not a bad evening, especially with some friends and a few beers.
Baby Wants Candy is on tomorrow at Assembly George Square Studios, Edinburgh 21:30
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