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  • Dress Circle Reviews

Catfish The Musical Album

Today Catfish were supposed to be doing their live press launch which is no longer possible. The creation of this album is a good news story of people who had never met, collaborating virtually to create, ironically, a story about the bad side of the internet.

But for a show which was created on the internet and is about the internet it is perhaps fitting that the launch is entirely through the internet.

They have released the concept album today and this is a musical which is timely, modern and fresh. In many ways the question “When did we get so cruel?” has never felt more relevant. It focuses on people and the impacts the internet has on their lives but mainly it’s a story about people and their relationships, however they are created.

This will appeal to a new audience of theatre goers who will relate to a lot of the themes it has. It touches on people being “behind friends” although this is often just comparing to what they want you to see of them via social media which is not necessarily the truth. It also mocks the lack of attention people have and how quickly people can move on. At times this reminded me of other modern musicals, such as Heathers, but it is definitely its own unique story and feel.

There are some songs that I immediately fell in love with. “Dating Profile” for me was an immediate favourite. It has some hilarious lyrics and is littered with pop culture references. Who knew there would be a musical that references going to Nandos? The song illuminates the character and you can immediately see how they would be played. It’s also the first song where you get to really appreciate the beauty of “Jackson”’s voice.

Another favourite is “I Got A Nude”, which is the funniest song of the show (can you tell we appreciate comedy?) as well as the uplifting “Silver Lining”

Not all of the songs are hits though. Every show has songs that are there just for the story and we’ll caveat this by saying sometimes it can be difficult to fully appreciate a song without seeing it live in the context of the show. While I appreciate the different shades of the show some of the ballads fell flat. As the song and orchestrations don’t develop they lack interest which is a shame as the lyrics and voices are beautiful. The upbeat songs are certainly the stronger part of the album.

A musical is designed to be performed live and we found ourselves spending a lot of time imagining how this would be staged. The direction would need to take a lead from shows such as Dear Evan Hansen, which also focuses on the internet, and avoid having people on their devices on stage. We’re imagining a projection at the back of the stage showing peoples screens but there are so many opportunities we’re excited to see how this will develop. The lyrics contain some great comedy and with the right director and orchestration changes there are boundless opportunities.

I’m thankful for the Catfish creators for giving us some optimism for the future. Listen and download it now!

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