Latest Reviews

A New Life – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Guide, Music & Lyrics: Andy McGregor

Designer: Kenny Miller

Director: Andy McGregor

All of it begins off chirpy sufficient in Andy McGregor’s musical, A New Life. Profession-driven Jess and Robbie’s solely worries are the place their subsequent unique vacation spot goes to be or whether or not they need to get a brand new SMEG fridge. She’s on observe to be the headteacher of her main college, his newest laptop sport is about to be picked up by Nintendo. As everyone knows, essentially the most predictable factor about life is its unpredictability, and an ideal huge baby-shaped spanner is thrown within the works with a really unplanned being pregnant.

McGregor tackles some powerful material right here: post-partum despair; the grim actuality of what motherhood could make you; suicide. He dares to say the unsayable, however is it greatest delivered by way of the medium of musical theatre? McGregor can actually write a tune and there are some actual crackers right here. Nevertheless, the tunes (and their chic supply by Kim Shepherd) aren’t sufficient to hold this new work – not but anyway.

The connection between Jess and Robbie (Kim Shepherd and Simon Donaldson) is offered as a given, however there’s no time to determine their actual bond, or so that you can get on-side and root for them. The work is just round 80 minutes lengthy and also you’d be forgiven for dashing to the center of the matter, however the descent into darkness is steep and extended, taking on a lot of the operating time. The one (and far wanted) gentle reduction comes within the type of six-foot, nappy sporting, faucet dancing, back-talking child Barry (Stephen Arden) who steals the present along with his outrageous antics.

Hats off to McGregor for even making an attempt to deal with the subject material and he delivers a dose of harsh actuality in a largely palatable manner. Nevertheless, the steadiness between the sunshine reduction and the hard-hitting realities is a bit of off kilter. By no means one to ask for a piece’s operating time to be prolonged, A New Life has large potential and with a bit of labor might strike the proper steadiness and take its place on the vanguard of recent musical theatre writing.

Reviewed on 29 October 2022 on the Tron Theatre and continues to tour Scotland with Crocodile Rock | Picture: Tim Morozzo

 

 

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