Orcs - The Musical!

Thu 2nd – Sat 4th February 2012


Hannah Buckley

at 09:01 on 3rd Feb 2012



I love orcs. And I love musicals, and ‘Orcs - The Musical’ had plenty of both. It is a story of orcs versus urkas, and how the love of Haafa (played by Daniel Pitts) and Princess Claudia (Antonia Perna) brings the two sides together in harmony in the standard clichéd musical ending. The writer and director of this play, Reesha Dyer, has had no experience before this play and I commend her on how well she has pulled it off. The play flowed well and the lines were witty and humorous, especially the alternative orc lyrics to the numerous musical numbers.

On that note, the music was excellently played. I’m sad to say that who the ‘orc’companist actually was is not made clear in the programme, but he did very well to keep the play flowing in between scene changes and as an accompanist to the singers. Overall the singing was clear and projected out to the audience, which really helped get the orc jokes within the lyrics across, but they were not always in tune.

Most of the acting was also projected really well, especially that of the narrator David Whittle. I’m not sure if he intended it to be or not but I thought his voice was a very good impression of the evil wizard Saruman from Lord of the Rings, which of course is very fitting. Some of the acting at times was a bit wooden, but with a cast that has had little experience of acting before this was expected, and their obvious enthusiasm for the play more than made up for this. The dancing, like the acting, was wooden and timing needed to be improved on. However, the many orcs throwing themselves around the stage (at some points in leg warmers) got a good laugh from the audience and I suppose orcs could never be good dancers anyway.

One thing the orcs could learn is to be a bit quieter when leaving or entering the stage in blackout. We all know orcs to be heavy, lumpy things but there was a lot of background noise which was quite unprofessional. The stage being so small makes up for this a little, but not a lot. The lighting and background (Josie Adam) were not great either, but were was adequate.

One thing that I was really impressed with was the costumes. The various hats, chain metal and urka fashion outfits were absolutely brilliant. I especially liked the costumes of the comedy duo Lex (Myre Haywood) and Keef (Emily Weir), who wore teapot hats. The make-up was also brilliant, and I loved the detail of it. Again, the programme does not make it clear who to praise for this.

Overall, although it was sometimes unprofessional, ‘Orcs-the musical’ is the most random, wacky and yet strangely appealing thing I have ever witnessed. It has some great comedy within it and the costumes were amazing, but the programme is difficult to read and necessary thanks were not given to those behind the stage.



Robert Smith; 3rd Feb 2012; 12:12:05

Piano accompaniment was provided by Sammy El-Bahrawy, and Karina was in charge of make-up, which was difficult to read in the programme. Apologies for this, that will be changed!

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