This current production looks like an object lesson in how to fuse the best of experienced industry leaders with dynamic new talent. And the writing-directing-choreographing team here are scoring a massive hit with their debut project: doubtless, they will be using the Cockpit run to make further refinements to the script.
Gregory S. Moss is an ingenious playwright who has created a sequence of tableaux, each of which can be understood as a ‘cover’ of a different musical ‘track’ on a personalised cassette tape, of the kind typically compiled for each other by friends in the long-lost 1980s. The scenes are, in fact, ‘riffs’ on actual recordings, and the anoraks amongst us (Hand up! – Guilty!) will have huge fun in tracing their origins, analysing the author’s creation as if it were the product of some Walmart T S Eliot.
Above all, this is a drama that might occur in anyone’s life: the sheer everyday nature of the story is in fact its raison d’etre. While it may not bark for attention and excite us with a stream of diversions, hours after you leave the theatre you notice that its gentle but lucid presence is still with you, shedding some scattered light on the great mysteries of living and dying, of loving and hating, of despair and hope.
You must judge for yourself whether you think this may or may not the case with this play. Whatever decision you arrive at, you might also like to consider what effect would it have on you were you to know at first hand what the mothers, widows, sisters, cousins or girlfriends of the heroes of the story might have to say. Alright, that would make it a different play. But there’s one girl here, so: Where are all the (other) women?
The Dark Tower Youth Music Theatre, CLF Cafe, Bussey Building, Peckham Rye Lane, Wednesday 24th August 2016 5 Stars This is probably the biggest musical theatre event of the year. And I choose my words carefully. YMT is an acronym that appears with increasing frequency in the performer and crew biographies in theatre programmes, listed under ‘Training’. It has a place alongside the best drama schools in the country as a crucible of new talent. And, as a producer, it is a force increasingly to be reckoned with in the commissioning, development and promotion of original new dramatic work. And this summer it staged a magnificent new work that is unlike anything most of us have ever seen. Last winter, I glimpsed a fragment of YMT’s 2015 dance drama, ‘Sweat Factory’, in the Christmas concert selection of extracts presented at the Salvation Army Hall on Oxford Street. I was so … Read more
But the message this work has to speak to us is not going to be dismissed: in an era when the management of the world by politicians is so signally lacking in hope, this story reminds us that there are other ways of doing things, there are other attitudes that can be assumed and there are other ways of responding to others than relentless, unwinnable wars.