Creatives, Pleasance Courtyard, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Lesslie Ltd. & Chicago Theatre Workshop
Irvine Welsh & Don De Grazia (Book), Laurence Mark Wythe (Music & Lyrics) Tom Mullen (Director), Tamara Saringer (Musical Director), Michael Patrick (Sound Design), Jennifer Kules & Collin G. Helou (Lighting Design), Inga Tillere (Projection Design)
Omar Bardoud (Louis), Alice Carey (Ashley), Jay Cullen (Jeremy), Vasily Deris (Eric), Tyler Fayose (Sean), Martina Isibor (Jennifer), Michael McKell (Paul), Maggie Ward (Jessica), Zoe West (Sheila)
Running time

In a ‘cast-of-Glee-does Cats’ style show, an adult learning songwriting class is competing to win a $5,000 prize, kindly donated by a famous alumni, by performing a song written by one of their peers. With the prospect of a financial and public rebirth, the seven classmates become increasingly competitive - with one taking the his X-Factor sob story a little bit too far. An unusual and unexpected end sees the violence expected from anything listed under Irvine Welsh’s name, but sadly doesn’t make up from the hour preceding it.

Comprising 14 musical numbers, all of which could be plucked from different soundtracks, there is a substantial amount of time to create character, develop plot and form a coherant structure. Unfortunately this time is spent with uncomfortable dialogue, a pick-n-mix of social and political topics - ranging from unrequited love to Donald Trump - and cringing at a group of characters who seem to be at an American high school reunion, possibly 'Class of 1994’.

The performers themselves are not atrocious, with particular mentions to the vocal capabilities of Martina Isibor and Vasily Deris, yet their inability to sing as a chorus and company is only overlooked by the amateurishness of their poorly imitated guitar playing.

If we were to forgive the thin plot of the opening half of the show, the plot twist adds nothing but confusion to the experience. Especially when it is witnessed that commitment to the role appears to have been abandoned by this point - seeing a wounded victim able to cope with the agony with merely a sob or two, still possessing the strength to climb on a set piece with said wounded limb.

Even with the assistance of award winning composer Laurence Mark Wythe, Welsh’s musical theatre breakthrough seems to have landed on a bum note.

9 - 28 (Not 15 & 22), 4pm