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Groundhog Day

  • Theatre, Musicals
  • Old Vic, Waterloo
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. © Manuel Harlan
    © Manuel Harlan

    Andy Karl (Phil Connors)

  2. © Johan Persson
    © Johan Persson

    Andrew Langtree (Ned Ryerson)

  3. © Manuel Harlan
    © Manuel Harlan

    Andy Karl (Phil Connors) and Carlyss Peer (Rita Hanson)

  4. © Manuel Harlan
    © Manuel Harlan

    Andy Karl (Phil Connors) and Carlyss Peer (Rita Hanson)

  5. © Manuel Harlan
    © Manuel Harlan

    Andy Karl (Phil Connors) and Carlyss Peer (Rita Hanson)

  6. © Manuel Harlan
    © Manuel Harlan

    Andy Karl (Phil Connors)

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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Tim Minchin’s musical version of the Bill Murray classic is back after seven years

‘Groundhog Day’, Tim Minchin’s adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray classic, returns to the Old Vic in 2023, seven years after its original run, with Andy Karl reprising his turn as Phil Conners. The below review is from its original 2016 run.

INTERVIEW: Tim Minchin on 'Groundhog Day', Brexit and getting over Bill Murray

‘Groundhog Day’, Tim Minchin’s adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray classic, is a musical about repetition. And also redemption.

‘Groundhog Day’, Tim Minchin’s adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray classic, sees the songwriting comedian reunite with director Matthew Warchus. It’s the dream team who made ‘Matilda’, the best British musical of the twenty-first century (apart from maybe ‘London Road’).

‘Groundhog Day’, Tim Minchin’s adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray classic, is not quite as good as ‘Matilda’, it’s a bit more slick and saccharine. But it is bloody good, probably the third-best British musical of the twenty-first century.

‘Groundhog Day’, Tim Minchin’s adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray classic, does not star Bill Murray as Phil Connors, the cantankerous weatherman who finds himself doomed to repeat the same day – watching a twee New England weather ceremony involving a rodent called a groundhog – over and over again. Instead it stars US actor Andy Karl. He is really very good, his matinee-ish looks making sense of Phil’s womanising arrogance. It does not star Andie MacDowell as Phil’s TV producer love interest Rita, but rather Carlyss Peer, who brings a bit more depth and spikiness to the role, while still holding on to the perky goodness that first infuriates then purifies Phil.

‘Groundhog Day’, Tim Minchin’s adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray classic, is unlikely to upset big fans of the film. It’s co-written with Danny Rubin, who wrote the original, and basically holds on to every incident and much of the dialogue from the movie. Ned is very much still Ned. 

‘Groundhog Day’, Tim Minchin’s adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray classic, is a musical about repetition. Props to the whole creative team, including illusionist Paul Kieve, for achieving the effect of Phil’s constantly resetting days via a multitude of coups de théâtre. We also feel the madness and strain of Phil’a bizarre curse – he lives years, possibly decades, possibly centuries – far more than in the film.

‘Groundhog Day’, Tim Minchin’s adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray classic, is a musical about repetition. The songs aren’t repetitive though: Minchin spans everything from redemptive piano tinkles to a silly country and western drinking song, to an ironically faux-uplifting rock ballad in the daft/macabre/brilliant/not-for-the-faint-of-heart scene where Phil kills himself many times over. Minchin is definitely better at words and tunes than choruses, but it serves the musical fantastically – his lyrics are very clever and very funny, albeit a bit more earnest than we’re used to. 

‘Groundhog Day’, Tim Minchin’s adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray classic, is only playing a limited run at the Old Vic, and then it’s going off to Broadway. But I think it’s safe to say that it’ll be back. And back. And back.

Andrzej Lukowski
Written by
Andrzej Lukowski

Details

Address:
Old Vic
103 The Cut
Waterloo Rd
London
SE1 8NB
Transport:
Tube: Waterloo; Rail: Waterloo
Price:
£12-£67.50
Opening hours:
Mon-Sat 7.30pm, mats Wed, Sat 2.30pm, no mats Jul 16, 20, 27, Aug 3, 10, 17, no perfs Jul 18 & 19, 25 & 26, extra mat perfs Aug 18, Sep 12 (press night Aug 16, 7pm, audio described perf Aug 30, captioned perf Sep 5), ends Sep 17

Dates and times

19:30Old Vic £12-£67.50
19:30Old Vic £12-£67.50
19:30Old Vic £12-£67.50
19:30Old Vic £12-£67.50
19:30Old Vic £12-£67.50
19:30Old Vic £12-£67.50
19:30Old Vic £12-£67.50
19:30Old Vic £12-£67.50
19:30Old Vic £12-£67.50
19:30Old Vic £12-£67.50
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