This new audio musical comedy has the feel of a classic Broadway musical but work does need to be done on the story itself.

Both Matt Cavendish and Ed Zanders are familiar with comedy – having worked in different capacities of Mischief Theatre shows and this is very much reflected in this perky musical that has heaps of personality and characters who really jump off the page.

The story follows that of Alec, the one honest person in Paradise who tells the truth, who just wants to make the library a success – but his plans are thwarted when ambitious Shirley claims the job that he was seeking only to help get her foot up the career ladder. With Alec and his father living in poverty – how long can Alec keep to his honest ways and can he face up to his troubling past.

It has to be said that the way in which this audio musical has been produced is impressive in terms of its quality in sound that really wraps itself around the listener, making you feel you are really experiencing the story in front of you, while allowing you to bring the characters and scenes to life in your imagination. Meanwhile, Ed Zanders through his music and lyrics has managed to create a classic Broadway musical feel to the story that is a perfect match for the lively and occasionally silliness of the story.

While Matt Cavendish has created plenty of diverse characters – all filled with plenty of personality that works well for an audio audience- the story itself can occasion feel slightly thin as it tracks the very different journeys of Alec and Shirley,one insisting on making their way in the world through the honourable way, while the other will do whatever it takes to get to the top. It has a twee approach that is endearing but it feels as though it is lacking slightly in depth and there is certainly potential for it go further.

But it has to be said that the whole musical has been seamlessly put together by Ellie Coote to ensure that the whole experience feels coherent and family friendly, while the orchestrations are simply gorgeous to listen to.

There is also joy to be found through many of the performances of the cast: Ryan Kopel’s charmingly naive Alec, Alan Cox as Alec’s father Erol who is given a nice personality twist towards the end that would have been great to have been explored further and Bobbie Little as the ambitious Shirley all stand out.

This is a musical that isn’t subtle in terms of personality and it would have been fabulous to see extra depth and feeling to the story itself to give the story more power. However, it is once again positive to have a brand new musical on the scene that simply entertains and puts a smile on your face.

By Emma Clarendon

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐