Theatre: ‘Good Omens’ The Musical

Screenshot of Crowley and Aziraphale in ‘Good Omens The Musical’ from the sizzle reel. All credit goes to Squabbalogic.

Hey! Hallie here!

Yes, you read that title correctly. Since 2019, Squabbalogic, a theatre group located in Australia, has been workshopping a fan production of ‘Good Omens’. ‘Good Omens’, if you don’t know, is the book Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett wrote about Aziraphale, an angel, and Crowley, a demon, who decide to put a stop to the apocalypse after their love of Earth makes them realize that Heaven and Hell aren’t really where they want to be. Of course, there are a few different fan musicals circulating. Especially after the popularity of the Amazon Prime series starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen. But this musical isn’t a parody or a short-term way for the creatives behind it to obsess over ‘Good Omens’. This show has been consistently developing over its short run (Shorter because of quarantine). Their small budget has gotten slightly bigger so they can continually update costumes and set pieces, and the songs change and shift to better reflect the story. In other words, this musical is working to be the best ‘Good Omens’ musical fans could hope for. There’s even been a report that they recorded the musical to send to Neil Gaiman. So let’s look into what this musical offers based on what Australian fans have seen and the footage Squabbalogic has released.

Songs:

I’ll list off the most recent list of musical numbers posted by a member of the audience, however, this list might not be entirely nice and accurate. As I said, this musical is still being workshopped. Act 1 starts off with “Agnes Nutter’s Surprise”. I did find a clip of this song, though they haven’t released the entire song. This one actually has some very nice, foreboding ensemble pieces. The sound is quite operatic and it definitely adds to the mob-like atmosphere. Coupled with some narration, it somehow humorously demonstrates the moment Agnes Nutter is burned at the stake. In this musical Agnes Nutter’s last words are “Do not upgrade to Windows 8.” Genius. We also get to see witch hunter Newt’s ancestor, who is, as always, played by the same guy who plays Newt. And his singing voice is really good. I didn’t get to hear much of his singing voice outside of this song, but what he has here is promising. After this is “Living the Dream” sung by Aziraphale, Crowley, and the ensemble. Then “The Book” sung by Anathema, Anathema’s mother, and Agnes Nutter. This song appears in part in their sizzle reel. While I can’t say that I know exactly what this song is about, the harmonies between the three women are insanely good here. “The Little Dispatch” sung by Hastur is said to be a very funny song. Then there’s “Crowley’s Cup”, sung by Crowley, and “The Big Exchange” featuring Crowley and the ensemble. I think most people know what this exchange is. Then there’s “All Living Things” sung by Aziraphale and Crowley. I did see parts of this song, which features Aziraphale as the gardener and Crowley as the nanny. In this Crowley sports an amazing maid’s costume to teach Adam about all of the disgusting things demons get up to. “The Them” is sung by Adam, Pepper, Bryan, Wensleydale, and adorably, Dog. “There’s a Witch in Your Mind” is sung by Newt, Madame Tracy, and Sergeant Shadwell. I did see a bit of this song, which was mostly a funny and flirtatious back and forth between Sergeant Shadwell and Madame Tracy.

They do have “This Perfect Place” up on their website in full, which is a song Anathema sings about arriving in Tadfield. This song is a parody of “Belle” from ‘Beauty and the Beast’. It doesn’t share the melody, but it does include the various friendly villagers in Tadfield trying to win over Anathema with baked goods and flowers only for her to remind them that they’re all going to die. Gaston even shows up and gets told to “fuck off”. After that is “A Curious Boy” sung by Anathema and Adam, “The World In a Magazine” where these two are joined by the rest of The Them and Newt, “The Big Bust/Bust Up” where Hastur returns, “There’s a Witch in Your Mind (Reprise)” with the same crew as in the original song, and “Forty Miles Tomorrow” closes out Act 1 with the entire company. Act two starts with “Four Shall Ride”, a song sung by Scarlet, Raven, Chalky, and Death. Or War, Famine, Pollution, and Death, if you would prefer. “I Don’t Want to Go to Heaven” is sung by Aziraphale after he discovers that Heaven actually wants to start the apocalypse. This song is apparently a tear jerker. “Away Wi’ Ye Spawn O’ Hell” follows, sung by Aziraphale and Shadwell as Shadwell manages to discorporate Aziraphale. And then we get the second tear-jerker, “I Don’t Want You to Go to Heaven” sung by Crowley. I can just imagine why these two songs would break your heart in the theatre. After this we get “Love’s Anathema” sung by Agnes Nutter, Anathema, and Newt, “Dividing the World” sung by Agnes Nutter, the Four Horsemen, and The Them, “That Was Really Wonderful” sung by Anathema and Newt, “Hastur on the Hunt” which marks the return of Hastur, “Them Against the Horsemen” sung by The Them and the Four Horsemen, “Newt’s Victory” sung by Newt, Adam’s Law sung by Adam, and finally “In The End” sung by the entire company. I should also note this song takes place at a wedding, but I don’t know whose. Do with that information what you will.

The Design/Casting:

Crowley as of the recording they released wears a Guns and Roses t-shirt and a lot of leather. His actor is slightly older in appearance than the actor who plays Aziraphale, and the look lends itself to the washed-up rockstar description we get in the book. Aziraphale, on the other hand, is very well put together. As always, he has a lovely bowtie and an even lovelier coat. I would also like to point out that when Aziraphale is possessing Madame Tracy, the actor actually stands behind her in the same outfit she’s wearing, which consists of a blue and pink patterned dress. And he looks amazing in it too. Both Aziraphale and Crowley apparently get some nice costumes for their time in Eden, but as I did not see them, I can only tell you some scales and a gaudy coat are involved. The Metatron looks like a bit of a mess in a wig and robe, complete with sunglasses. It’s definitely the most “parody”-like design in the entire musical, but the hilarious way he’s characterized makes all of it fit perfectly. He has a New York accent and he won’t stop interrupting Aziraphale. It’s gold. Aside from these designs I would also like to point out that there’s both an adorable, small puppet for Dog and a giant, skeletal puppet for Dog. Both are amazing puppets. Finally, there was only one shot of the Four Horsemen in the sizzle reel, but I did notice Death was being played by a woman. Also, as the musical has developed sources have reported more personality for the character. Mainly a more sneaky and evil depiction of Death. I really like the idea of a female Death getting more to do within ‘Good Omens’.

This musical isn’t completely finished. And it’s definitely reported to be different from other versions of ‘Good Omens’. Some plot points are changed. A small example is that Aziraphale, while spending time with “Crawly” in Eden, gives him the name Crowley. The musical also uses different pop-culture references to better relate to the audience. For example, at one point they demonstrate the passing of time by listing off the various ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies. But these changes don’t undermine the overall story. If anything, they add to it. This musical sounds like a lot of fun. I know that eventually their goal is to get to something like the West End, and though I think copyright probably won’t allow them to see this goal realized, I still wish them all the success in the world.

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

2 thoughts on “Theatre: ‘Good Omens’ The Musical

  1. wow!
    i am a huge fan of neil gaiman, especially of his book good omens. i can’t count the times i even read it!
    i never knew there was a musical- all i knew was the series and a movie, i think.

    this post got me so excited!

    Like

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