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Theatre Camp Movie Review

Reviewed by Amelia Bascombe

Any theatre enthusiasts dream is to be a triple threat, but this cast are excelling in so many different avenues that the credits scene may have just been their names over and over again. Theatre Camp is new movie by Searchlight Pictures that follows a group of unconventional teachers coming together when tragedy strikes. Based on the short film by Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman and Ben Platt, all four not only star in the film, but have producing credits as well. Directed by Gordon and Lieberman, the film has a indie and documentary style feel that allows the audience to be fully immersed in the camp experience. The film brilliantly captures what it means to love theatre, and how this translates into being yourself.

The film itself has commendable wit and each actor is tremendous at hitting each comedic line. The reactions to situations are authentic and aren’t overplayed.  Each characters narrative is easy to follow and the characters have been well thought out, which isn’t always the case with an ensemble cast. There are regular prompts throughout the film to flesh out some information that we need as an audience, but it doesn’t need to be played out for us.

Some of the comedy is predictable and the story essentially follows a similar plot of Disney’s Camp Rock 2 - not that i’m complaining, that film is so underrated. The plot of the camp being in financial troubles is easy to figure out from the beginning, and the eventual reconciliation of all the characters plays out the exact way you think it will. Nonetheless, the film is aware it can come across as cliche and just runs with it anyway.

My standout performance has to be Noah Galvin. His story arc was the most unpredictable of the ensemble and I did have to double check with my friend when he appeared in the final musical. His relationship with Joan’s son, Troy, is also a highlight and the two have brilliant chemistry together. The same can be said for Ben Platt and Molly Gordon, who are completely believable as long standing friends. Platt gives comedy that is similar to his character in Pitch Perfect, and it’s nice to see him back in a role like this, especially after watching him in Parade on Broadway. 

The young ensemble cast is made up of Broadway’s next generation of stars. The children are given moments to completely shine and they take every single opportunity they can to do this. Shoutout to Luke Islam who caught my eye from the beginning and never disappointed.

Theatre Camp is a sincere and fun look at how much theatre truly means to people; it gives us a space to be real and live unapologetically. I owe a lot to the musical theatre industry and this film was a real reminder of that. It hits UK cinemas on the 25th of August.

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