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RuneSical Review

Reviewed by Iona Wood


As I sat down to begin watching RuneSical, I realised that; one, I knew nothing about RuneScape and two, the ‘Full Show’ video was only 4 minutes long. Upon further investigation, I discovered it was a ‘choose your own adventure’ musical. This concept excited me, I wondered what journey I might go on in this new world I hadn’t a clue about. Luckily for me my husband (who I asked to watch with me) has plenty of RuneScape knowledge with at least 100 hours of gametime under his belt, I knew I would be in safe hands with my choices. So due to this, this is a review of the path I took.

The show begins with Lance played by Christian Maynard going online to play RuneScape at which point we are introduced to the first song ‘RuneSical Theme’. Using the Old RuneScape Theme as a basis for the song and flow of rap to explain what RuneScape is and the world we are entering. The way they introduced us to the story allows everyone, no matter if you know nothing about the game or even musicals, left you wanting more, if you can keep up with the rap flow. As we are following how it would feel for a player starting the game the Wizard played by Sam Cochrane, the co-writer, producer and director, asks ‘what is your username’ and we learn that the gamers online name is ‘lance_054’ and from Maynard launches into a rap about how he plans to beat the game. 

Maynard plays a great balance of believable gamer boy and video game character, he performs in a dance battle and uses the one RuneScape dance ‘emote’ and uses NPC-(Non-Player Character) like behaviour to denote that this is now his character and not the gamer himself. The power in his vocals and diction for the raps are impeccable, he has this great sense of wonder about him fully immersing himself into, what we can only assume to be, a teenage boy. 

Odin the Destroyer, played by Katie Pritchard, is incredibly funny, her depiction of the gnome with the powerful name is endearing and joyous to watch. In the song ‘House on Fire’, she has stellar vocals alongside her hilarious jamming out to the song alongside Maynard. It is clear to see that the cast and enjoying the music and performance as much as the audiences are. 

Pearl, played by Jenna Sian O’Hara, is seemingly an experienced player with wit and is great guidance for the other two adventures. She appears out of nowhere and joins Odin and Lance on their adventure. O’Hara has an excellent solo in ‘Someone Else’ when she expresses her pain of the situation, which I will not give away. All while it being the ballad of the show, it does keep the shows comedy essence and O’Hara merges the sorrow and humour effortlessly. Pearl has an endless energy that matches the other cast but keeps a fresh look on female players of RuneScape. 

Cochrane plays the Wizard and a couple NPC side-characters depending on what route you go down. As one of the writers it’s clear that he has a love of RuneScape, he’s very comfortable talking to the audience and encouraging the ‘pick-your-own adventure’ aspect of the show. He commonly pops up at the end of a video to ask you to decide on what to do or where to go next. His comedic timing is amazing and as the narrator of the show has a stereotypical announcer-style voice which goes so well with the narrative. 

Other characters are played by the musicians in the show, to be able to multi-role and perform all the music is an immense feat. Alex Prescot, known as Player 1 in the credits, is the other writer of the show and once again seems to have a great knowledge of RuneScape and demonstrates genuine belly-laugh moments, especially when playing two different narrative NPCs, who are different in the game but look and talk exactly the same and when questioned on the matter by Lance, divulges that that was his twin brother. In doing so, Prescot steps off the box he’s on spins around and steps back up to be the twin. The sort of stupid humour that really makes me giggle. Prescot also plays the keyboard for the show and at one point the ukelele for a humorous Spanish-inspired song. 

Theo Diedrick, Player 2 in credits, plays varying guitars as the musician, and has additional lines here and there. In the version I watched he had a great song called “Give Up” in which the adventurers are trying to convince the Camel (Diedrick) to give them some sand. He portrays the grumpy Camel unhappy with his job and Pearl manages to sway him to leave his job. The syncopated rhythm of the song allows the characters to be over the top and play with the audience in which Diedrick does brilliantly throughout the song and the rest of the show.

The final cast member is Lydia Barton Lovett, also known as Player 3, who plays percussion for the show and an array of hilarious characters such as the Chef, Random-Event NPC, and Bob the Cat. All of which are references to the game, of which I did not know about until my husband explained the significance of them. For example, the Random-Event NPC would appear after you do a repeated action for too long, you can choose to speak to the character and get an item or dismiss them (it’s used to prevent hacking in game). 

However, in the show Lovett’s role hands the adventurers a useful item and then after they leave starts a lament, only to be cut off by the lights. She uses her comedy skills and obvious understanding of the game to give a great portrayal of all her characters. She was always one my eyes were drawn to during my adventure and that is indicative of her ability to move a plot along with excellent expressions and storytelling.

The show was filled with an array of inside jokes for the lovers of RuneScape and gamers alike such as ‘loading please wait’, but as I found out, you did not need to know any of that to enjoy the musical. ModMark, the previous Design Director for RuneScape, featured in the show as the creator of this productions ‘handshake’ which Odin and Lance do throughout the show. It was nice to see the creators of the game still have a lot of love for the spin-offs and fan-made content. The song I went to bed singing was ‘It’s Bad Being Good’, its got some genius songwriting, catchy tune and hilarious delivery from Cochrane and the rest of the cast.  The writing has connected the online world to the real world, and this allows the story to have in game problems to solve as well as real-life worries, such as a stepsister invading your room in the middle of an important battle. Costuming, the simple set and the number of props really set this show up for success.

GiggleMug have created a nostalgic, hilarious show that can be enjoyed by gamers and musical lovers alike.

You can stream RuneSical for free on YouTube by visiting You can find out more about the show and GiggleMug’s other great work from their website

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