Rating: ★★★★★
Venue: Online (Watch FREE here)
Cast: Christian Maynard, Katie Pritchard, Jenna Sian O'Hara, Sam Cochrane, Alex Prescot, Theo Diedrick and Lydia Barton Lovett

Sword equipped. Potions ready. High-speed internet connected. Based on the hugely popular online game RuneScape, join Lance_054 (the first 53 were taken) on an interactive quest where YOU decide what happens next!

The show was filmed live in Cambridge (where RuneScape was born!) at The Town & Gown Theatre, and has just been released on YouTube for experienced players and total noobs alike!

I'll preface this review by saying that there's absolutely no need to have any knowledge of the online game, RuneScape, of which this musical is based on. However, being a huge RuneScape fan growing up, I was able to enjoy the many easter eggs dotted throughout the show which would otherwise mean nothing to the "noobs" watching. But whether you're a "noob", or a more experienced player, you'll no doubt enjoy this fantastical musical

What makes this online experience so unique is the way in which it's watched. The viewer is given an array of choices to make throughout the musical, leading you down different paths and meeting different characters. I think this is a fantastic concept, and is a great way to enable viewers to watch the show again and again; and always come across something new! From choosing a character to follow, or whether you should accept a mysterious amulet or not, the audience feel very involved in the character's fate. 

We follow our hero of the story, Lance (Christian Maynard), who is playing RuneScape from the comfort of his room as a way to escape his everyday life. We're transported into the game and start our quest of defeating the Mirror Dragon; although not before completing the tutorial, of course! We're taken on Lance's adventure as he meets his new best friend and sidekick, a gnome called Odin the Destroyer (Katie Pritchard), and a princess that isn't quite who she seems, Pearl (Jenna Sian O'Hara).

Although the set and staging was simplistic, you felt immediately transported to the realm of Gielinor, and the small space that the cast had was used effectively.

As the musical is a parody, it goes without saying that it's absolutely hilarious. It's witty, smart, and just downright brilliant! The comedic timing from The Wizard (Sam Cochrane) is exceptional, and his interaction with the audience is great. In fact, his verse in the opening number RuneSical Theme reminded me of Blackalicious' Alphabet Aerobics; it's an incredibly catchy song!

Standout songs for me were House on Fire, Freaky Troll (that song is like a literal fever dream!) and RuneSical Theme. With lyrics such as "escape your room and then shape your fate, log on at noon and stay up too late", you'll be hooked instantly with the many memorable lines. And the mega-mix at the end? I'll have that on repeat, for sure!

Christian Maynard shines brightly throughout the entire production. Not only is his character incredibly likeable and easy to connect to, his voice is both powerful and smooth as silk. He's most definitely one to watch!

From frustration at Tutorial Island, hilariously accurate idle animations and an appearance from the legendary Bob the Cat, any RuneScape fan will come away highly satisfied; and if you're new here, welcome to the wonderful realm of Gielinor! The musical gives a sense of belonging to a community that I was often shunned to be a part of, but in the words of Lance, "our freaky bits are what makes us interesting". Fun, clever and everything I didn't know I needed from a musical.

You can watch RuneSical online via the Gigglemug YouTube Channel

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