Fruity and the Tweet review at Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh – ‘woefully slight and poorly staged’
In an age when politicians are quick to take to social media and spread propaganda, it seems that musical theatre writers can be just as swift putting a show on at the Fringe. Fruity and the Tweet layers a thinly disguised Donald Trump parody onto an even more thinly disguised Beauty and the Beast musical. The result is woefully slight and poorly staged with a romantic if over-blown score by Joe Kiely and an abbreviated book by Stephen Zappia.
Swathes of exposition attempt to make up for the lack of dramaturgy and, while the musical numbers are on the whole rich and emotive ballads, there is little in the broadly comic book to mirror this. Courtney Powell delivers an unfocused and chaotic – but occasionally funny – Mayor Bliss.
It’s evident that Matty Christopher as activist hero Fin and Jesus Ortiz as conservative poster-boy Bastion have decent singing voices, but an overproduced backing track practically drowns them out.
Perhaps what is most disappointing is the use of Twitter through the show. The audience is advised to follow the new mayor Agatha Bliss on the social media site to enhance the story. Sadly, two pre-shot and edited images hardly make for an interactive experience.