June 25, 2019
Full disclosure: I have never seen a single episode of Game of Thrones, which puts me in the same shoes as one of the main protagonists of tonight’s performance. The beauty of Thrones! Is that despite me not having the faintest idea of what the actual show is about, the smart musical parody is nuanced enough to let one derive allusions to the show and has at the same time enough surprises to even excite the most hardcore GoT aficionados – not unlike the one I brought along with me who had a jolly good time.
The fact that the genre agnostic musical components are punchingly good (and ranging from gangster rap, via African-American spirituals to old form operatic vocal deliveries along with the odd pop cultural mash up), signalled early on that we were in for not just humour but a seriously fine night of entertainment, reverent fun and musical theatre. The fact that the performance steadily picks up pace and gets gradually more vulgar, crude, sinister and edgy, which only enhances the viewing pleasure.
The cast members gel well with each other, with each seamlessly transitioning between different roles, harmonisations and choreography that are flawlessly performed in makeshift costumes and props.
The quality and simple vim of the singing of Thrones!, which was originally performed in Los Angeles before it took on the old world in a storm, is reason enough to attend and does not really necessitate prior knowledge as one of the protagonists is educated with the audience along the way, i.e. given CliffsNotes on the series, which is a smart move to avoid preaching to the converted and provides a bit of a retrospective on plot landmarks.
While piss taking is par for the course with all the in jokes and topical gags one could hope for, one can tell that the Thrones! started from a place of sincere admiration and appreciation for the series – after all parody is the ultimate compliment.
I’d go as far as claiming that if you are a hardcore fan of the series and in need of consolation for what was commonly perceived to be an underwhelming final season and ending of Game of Thrones, this parody musical is what you need, especially since the Sydney run includes exclusive added-on bits pertaining to the finale, which is testament to the dedication and wit of Thrones!’s creators.