Ordinary Days, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Review

Submitted by Alex Eades on Fri, 22 Jun '12 6.59pm
Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Green Room
Michael Richardson (Director), Neil Metcalfe (Musical Director), Cerin Richardson (Designer), George Cort (Lighting Designer), Lucy Inglis (Stage Manager), Paul Smith (Sound Designer)
Caroline Hood (Claire), Darren Niven (Jason), Sarah Haddath (Deb), Michael Davies (Warren)
Running time

And so, there I was. A Werewolf sitting amongst a sea of luvvies at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. Destined to kill or be killed, with little hope for this unsuspecting audience, bar the unlikely appearence of a silver bullet. The lights begin to dim and my claws stretch under cover of darkness. Musical theatre? This was going to be a musical massacre.

Now, the thing about musical theatre is that, generally, I hate it. I know! I know! "Why do you go then?". Well, I'll tell you. Occasionally, just occasionally, I will see something and for a brief moment I will begin to understand why those that love musicals do, in fact, love them so much. And I have to say, despite my initial grumblings at the prospect, I am very happy to have seen Ordinary Days. 

Set in New York, the show follows four individuals who are trying to find themselves and their" big picture" in the big city. It soon becomes clear that these characters all share a meaningful connection and that what they believed they wanted was never what they wanted at all. That their "big picture" was changing with the world around them and that this was something to embrace and not deny. 

Creating multi-plot, feel-good pieces seems to be the 'in' thing these days (New Years Day, What To Expect When You're Expecting), though it hasn't really been pulled off with any real success probably since Love Actually (open to disagreement). Ordinary Days is, however, right up there.

Though there are no real stand out songs (in fact the music is probably the weakest part of the show), they are all sung so well and with such conviction by the cast that it really doesn't matter whether you can recollect a melody or lyric. It has to be said though that it is the two female roles that draw the most interest, with Sarah Haddath being the obvious star of the show. Haddath radiates with charm and posseses comic timing as great as anybody I have ever seen. A delight to behold.

The set is quite simple, consisting only of a series of boxes, but is used to beautiful effect toward the end of the piece. As paper is thrown from the top of a building, a quiet and tender reference to 9/11 is made, which was just subtle enough to to hit home.

Funny, charming and expertly performed, Ordinary Days could best be described with one word: lovely. It's a disgusting word that I do try to avoid the best I can and I usually find no reason to use it. But for this, though it sickens me to admit, I will make an exception. 

As the lights came up, I noticed that I had once more transformed. The claws had sunk and the monster had gone. Ordinary Days had been the silver bullet that I needed. And so, to kill a monster is as simple as to create one.

Tonight and tomorrow 7.30pm