I gratefully received my ONE WAY TICKET not OUT OF oh no…. but INTO LOSERVILLE for my 20th Birthday.
The show premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse (Quarry Theatre) in Leeds on the 18th of June starring a superb fresh cast including : Gareth Gates (Pop Idol, Joseph and Les Miserables) and Chris Hardman- better known as Lil’ Chris (Rock School)
The actually Quarry theatre itself (in the West Yorkshire Playhouse) is quite small and although it has sloped seats there isn’t a stage… just a flat floor for the cast to perform on. My Mum and I had front row (row A) seats, it was incredible and really felt like we were in on the action!
Brief plot overview
The central story is pretty timeless; lead geek and awkward social misfit Michael Dork (Aaron Sidwell- Eastenders) is determined to ‘fit in’ and grasp the attention of his school peers and love interest Holly Manson (Eliza-Hope Bennett) who has the issue of being “Cursed with brains and looks”. People just don’t take her seriously and she has a secret; one which could potentially be used against her if it gets into the wrong hands!
Dork struggles to ‘reach for his dream’, as his confidence is being crushed by the shallow, arrogant lead jock Eddie Arch and spoiled rich son of the owner of “Arch Systems” (Gareth Gates) He is seemingly determined to make Dork’s life a misery and steal the girl of his dreams. Tagging along with are him his two equally ‘brainless’ sidekicks Huey (Robbie Boyle) and Wayne ! However, help is at hand in the form of Michael Dork’s two best friends socially “retarded” yet lovable geeky comical duo Francis Weir (Lil’ Chris) and Marvin (Dan Buckley) Outcast Lucas Lloyd (Richard Lowe) claims to be happy in the ‘geek camp’ but is he really? And can he be trusted? Only time will tell!
School plastic ‘Princess Leila’ s (Charlotte Harwood) only ambition in life is to be rich and marry Eddie, she wants his babies!- or at least thinks she does ! What is the malicious Eddie Arch really capable of ? You’ll just have to see the show to find out !
(Gareth Gates as Eddie Arch)
All I can say is WOW! What a show and a half! Ex- Busted & Son of Dork (and quite frankly a musical GENIOUS) James Bourne teamed up with Elliot Davis to concoct this masterpiece which is loosely based around Bourne’s Son of Dork song “Ticket outta Loserville”
It was such a breath of fresh air, like nothing I have ever seen before. In terms of the actual stage set used, it was very minimalist. THE CAST WERE THE SET as more often than not they held up picture boards which represented the story. I loved the fact that the show had opening and closing credits the cast members entered the stage holding up a board with their character name on one side and their real name on the other….very cinematic!
Being in the charts from a very young age I feel that Chris Hardman’s strongest point was his acting. He should seriously consider becoming a comedian at some point, his comical timing was perfection and I couldn’t help but laugh at his VERY ANNOYING squeaky American Accent.
I still find it so fascinating that Gareth Gates doesn’t stammer when he is performing. I mean, we all know that he doesn’t stammer when he sings but he doesn’t when he acts either. There doesn’t seem to be a known explanation for this at the present however, he has said himself on previous interviews that he feels that it’s because he develops a different “persona” on stage. He’s not just Gareth Gates…. he’s Gareth Gates the actor/ performer!
Meeting James Bourne and Gareth Gates
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting James Bourne with my Mum not once but TWICE on the same day! We met James Bourne for the first time at the interval. I noticed him sitting at a table quietly signing some autographs. We approached him and I asked if he would mind signing my program-me to which he agreed. My Mum is a bit of a LEG-END and proceeded to tell him how much we LOVED the show (I was a little star-struck) she said something along the lines of it being “SO Vibrant and fresh” – his face ABSOLUTELY LIT UP and he said “Wow thank-you so much….and then HE HIGH-FIVED HER !!” What a lovely guy !
I met the wonderful Gareth Gates after the show also, and as always I am so incredibly proud to be a valued fan of his , he is a true gentleman! People are far too quick to judge him; forgetting that he is no-longer the 17 year-old boy who appeared on our screens 10 years ago, he has bloomed into a sublime West End performer I believe that Gareth has found his niche, he is such a wonderfully natural performer WITH A VOICE TO DIE FOR !
Personally I will be DEVASTATED if this show does not transfer to the West End/ go on tour ! It’s far too magnificent to “LOSE” !
The show runs until June 18th at “The West Yorkshire Playhouse”
You’d be a ‘Loser’ to miss out BOOK HERE :