Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington

24/02/2010 - 27/02/2010

Downstage Theatre, Wellington

18/03/2010 - 27/03/2010

NZ Fringe Festival 2010

Production Details

18-27 March, 9pm
Downstage Theatre.


Experience the World’s Most Forgotten Boy Band Sensation.

Do you remember the 90s? The chatter rings, tamagotchis and midriffs? How about the boy bands? The white shirts in the wind, screaming fans and merchandise galore. The tunes, the dance moves, and the hair. So dope.

Boy Bands helped shape the decade. And our identities too. The cool one. The nice one. The blonde one. The black one…And that other guy. Which one were you?

With the Backstreet Boys reaching New Zealand shores in March boy band fever is going to peak. Come to The Fringe Bar this February to experience the world’s most forgotten boy band sensation.

Wannabe, a quirky new solo show devised by Guy Langford and directed by Erina Daniels, explores aspiration, the tall poppy syndrome, and the role the media plays in shaping who we “wannabe”.

Guy Langford is a 2009 Acting Graduate from Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. In his final year Guy played Thomas Baxter in Eli Kent’s critically acclaimed Bedlam, created the “infectiously energetic” (Salient) solo work Hurry! Hurry! Wait… And was a member of the Chapman Kipp award winning ensemble production The Caucasian Chalk Circle. 

Erina Daniels is a 2003 Toi Whakaari Acting Graduate and a current Master in Theatre Arts Directing student. Her last Fringe show Who’s Popping was awarded Pick of the Fringe in 2008.

Wannabe runs for an exclusive season at The Fringe Bar from 24 – 27 February at 8:30 pm. Tickets are $15 General, $12 Concession and $10 with Fringe Addict Cards.

TIME & DATES: 24th – 27th February, 8.30pm
WHERE: The Fringe Bar, Corner of Cuba Street and Vivian Street
TICKETS: $15 / $12 concessions / $10 Fringe Addict Cards
TO BOOK: email fringebar.nz@gmail.com or txt 022 IM SILLY (022 467 6559)  

A genuine superstar

Review by Hannah Smith 19th Mar 2010

[DOWNSTAGE Pick of the Fringe Season #2] 

There is a real buzz about this show. The Downstage bar is decorated with Brotastik posters, Brotastik CDs are available for purchase and the pre show crowd are encouraged to amuse themselves by making signs declaring their feelings for their fave boyband member. TJ is clearly the most popular, while some ‘© Bradley’, others ‘Love Randy’, and one bold soul even ‘misses you Jason’.

If you missed the hype and the publicity the first time around, the premise of Wannabe is this: the members of popular 90’s boy band Brotastik are reuniting for a final ever world comeback tour ever, and it is happening right here in Wellington, New Zealand. Only not all members of the band are back on the wagon. Jason is pursuing a solo career. He is busy. He has photo shoots.

I did see the show the first time around, and it has adapted well to the larger space. Enormous posters of the boys adorn the back wall – with a conspicuous absence where Jason’s should be. Solo performer Guy Langford fills the stage with ease, his energetic and physically demanding performance resulting in sweat streaming down his face. An uncredited lighting design is appropriately tacky and garish, transforming the audience into the screaming hordes at a pop concert.

The audience are happy to be transformed. And this show very nearly is a pop concert, the songs – written by Langford and recorded and mixed by Matt Mulholland – tiptoeing the tightrope between parody and genuine boyband material. Some do this more successfully than others – ‘Even If’ being far and away my favourite – however on opening night they are all a little bit lost beneath a sound mix that is a fraction too loud.

The play is structured very simply – after an introduction from the band manager there is a monologue from each of the lads followed by a song. This formulaic set up seems fitting for the material used. I am moved to think during this, my second, viewing of the show, that the reason TJ is such a crowd favourite is because he has far and away the funniest written material. The other lads’ pieces are a bit short on actual written gags.

But the success of the humour really rides on the charm Guy Langford brings as a performer. He is likeable, he is watchable, his characterisations are precise, his songs are excellent and he dances, well, like a boy band. There is something fervent and hungry in his performance too, you can feel how much he wants us to like him – and we do.

This seems a show built to tour, and if it does it will be very successful. Guy Langford has proved himself a performer to watch – not a wannabe, but a genuine superstar.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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A unique performance from an amazingly talented actor

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 03rd Mar 2010

As often happens with the Fringe Festival, the best is left until last and this year Wannabe seems to be a case in point.

As the Fringe Festival heads into its final week, this solo performance by Guy Langford, who also devised and wrote the show, and which is expertly directed by Erina Daniels, looks to be a festival hit. The era is the late 1990s, when boy bands were at their peak.

This is the farewell performance of Brotastic, now only a four-member band as one of their number, Jason, has gone out on his own – any similarities to Boyzone purely coincidental – and in the course of the concert each member – Alex, T J, Bradley and Randy – steps forward and talks to the invisible Jason, regaling him with their thoughts about him going solo and what it has done to the culture of the band.

A song is then performed each time, written by Langford and appropriate to the mood of the moment.

The show is not only incredibly funny, his spoof on boy bands telling and highly accurate, but his ability to take on the persona of each character is remarkable. This is a unique performance from an amazingly talented actor.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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Someone to watch

Review by Lynn Freeman 03rd Mar 2010

Those boy bands of the 90s have a lot to answer for, with their impossibly good looks and banal love songs.

Guy Langford delivers a relentless parody of the phenomenon in Wannabe by portraying four remaining members of Brotastic. Through him we learn how they fall apart.

Langford is outstanding as the writer and performer and Erina Daniels had him work so hard he is pouring with sweat by the end. In a good cause though, he gets our attention as someone to watch.
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High-tempo performance: a hit

Review by Michael Wray 25th Feb 2010

The Fringe Bar in Wellington is privileged to present the Final Ever World Comeback Tour Ever of American boy band Brotastic. Except all is not well in the world of pop. Only four of the five original band members will play; the other is busy pursuing a successful solo career.

Incorporating a simple light show that effectively transforms the small stage of the Fringe Bar into a concert venue, Guy Langford combines a series of dynamic monologues with performances of original songs, drawing inspiration from boy bands such as The Backstreet Boys, Take That, Westlife and… well, I’ll just stop there before anyone gets the idea that I follow this genre of music.

In true boy band styles, there’s the sexy one (Randy), the tough one (TJ), the sensitive one (Alex – who thinks he’s the wild one) and the spiritual one (Bradley). Each of the four shares their thoughts on the absent member, Jason, who also gets his say. Together with the band manager, Langford skilfully presents the six characters and their signature moves.

And did I mention it was a concert? That means songs, which Langford has written himself with music arrangement by Matt Mulholland. The songs are genuine examples of the genre – if he put together a pretty boy music video, Guy Langford could have a whole new career.

Under Erina Daniels’ direction, Langford maintains a high-tempo performance and on opening night, an appreciative audience repeatedly found themselves in fits of laughter.

Simply put, Wannabe is a hit.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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