As you may have seen in my slight Twitter rant last night, I don’t agree with the general consensus on Miss Atomic Bomb.
(And I now realise just how strange that last tweet looks out of context…)
The best comment I have seen in favour is ‘sweetly silly’ (The Guardian). And even that was meant in a demeaning way. Which it shouldn’t be. Silly’ is how I would describe Miss Atomic Bomb, but in a good way. It’s a musical for the most part meant entirely for fun, tongue in cheek. I mean, could you really do a musical about missiles and war and expect it to be serious…okay, wait…I just remembered Miss Saigon exists…and Les Miserables…
Anyway, it’s one which doesn’t seem take it self too seriously which is nice. It does have some serious moments and amazing songs at those moments. But for those most part, it’s just fun and unashamedly so. Simon Lipkin gets shot in the foot! Twice! And then tapdances!
So to celebrate this genre, here are some of my other favourite BOF musicals: Bit Of Fun. The kind to watch on a Saturday off when you want to watch something easy going/be cheered up. They have some hilarious numbers, a bizarre plot or a cheeky wink to the audience. Basically the ones you watch and go, ‘what the fuck?!’
Rocky Horror Picture Show
I had to start off with this one really.
With a sweet transvestite from Transylvania, Janet, Dr. Scott, Janet, Brad, Rocky, aliens, Janet, Dr. Scott, Janet, Brad, AND Rocky, this musical doesn’t take itself overly seriously.
Combine this with a bizarre plot and amazing songs, this made it an instant cult classic. Sure there are certain songs which are heartfelt and genuinely moving: ‘I’m Going Home’ and ‘Superheroes’ spring to mind. But then you have the ‘Time Warp’, ‘Damnit Janet’ and an actual song called ‘Planet, Schmanet, Janet’.
It’s a lot of fun. And if you can see it live, DO!
I’ll admit: the first time I saw this musical I didn’t love it. I was taking it too seriously.
In hindsight, I love it! Medieval madness + hilarity + Monty Python = brilliant.
Again we see an awareness of the genre they’re in, a willingness to expose and joke about this: ‘Once in every show, there comes a song like this…oh this is the song that goes like thissss’.
I don’t think there’s one serious song. Literally
‘But I’m alone
(Oh,no you’re not!)
So all alone
(I’m here you twat!)
All by myself,
I’m all alone’
‘It’s a busy life in Spamalot.
I have to push the pramalot.’
When ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ is your moving number, you know the others are abounding with jokes!
Somewhat of a phenomenon here: a musical TV show. And one which 1) doesn’t take itself too seriously, and 2) is aware of that, and 3) hasn’t been cancelled!
I’ve only seen parts of the first season, but from what I’ve seen it’s a lot of fun.
Knights, singing, sword fighting, dancing. The odd wink at the audience, breaking the fourth wall. And it’s got a strong narrative behind (aka not one about aliens or giant man eating plants, see below). But it’s fun and super aware of it, as the above video shows.
Other honourable mentions:
- A Very Potter… series: celebrating while spoofing Harry Potter, it’s just funny! ‘Eating food by the fire is swell.Pushing people in is fun as well.’
- Little Shop of Horrors: A plant. Eating people. And singing. And the ‘Dentist!’ number…just what?!