Baby Wants Candy: The Completely Improvised Full Band Musical

Assembly Roxy

From 30 July 2014 to 25 August 2014

Rating: *****

Review by David Chadderton

I first saw Baby Wants Candy at the Fringe 15 years ago. While the current troupe weren't around then, they are still one of the best at what they do.

So what is it they do? They take a title from the audience and make up a brand new musical on the spot, entirely improvised. This isn't improvised sketch comedy, but a complete show with a plot, characters, songs and some rough improvised choreography.

Unlike some other groups, BWC doesn't just use a keyboard for its musical backing but a five-piece band consisting of keyboard, guitar, bass, drums and trombone. Some of the group told me when I interviewed them that this doesn't make it harder, but it certainly makes it more impressive.

On this occasion, the title they were given was Mary Poppins Has Ebola. A little dark and in dubious taste perhaps, but without any discussion they launched into an opening ensemble number, "A Spoonful of Sugar Won't Help This Time", before telling a tale of killer rats, missing mothers and dubious nannies and chimney sweeps—with suitably dodgy English accents.

Not all of it made sense but it came to a reasonably satisfying conclusion and was very funny. It's all very impressive and entertaining and definitely worth seeing.

Whether you like the show or not, the next night's show is completely different so you can go again, which is a great selling point for a show that was a great one on which to end my Edinburgh Fringe for this year.