Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, February 17, 2023

Standing at the Sky's Edge @ Olivier Theatre "It's a sort of Blood Brothers but with less catchy songs"... Review->

Last night Stuart and I went to see Richard Hawley's music take centre stage in new musical Standing at the Sky's Edge at the Olivier Theatre on London's glitzy South Bank.
Directed by Robert Hastie and written by Chris Bush, this epic tells the story of a concrete Sheffield housing estate. But don't let that put you off.
For years Sheffield's brutalist Park Hill estate was famous for a single piece of graffiti, “I love you, will u marry me”, sprayed along a concrete walkway. During the estate's redevelopment into duplex flats, the graffiti was replaced with a neon sign, less in tribute to its author than as a cynical marketing tool aimed at the estate's wealthy new buyers.
The musical tells a story of one flat in this estate, but with three different concurrent time-lines.
We see young couple Rose (Rachael Wooding) and Harry (Robert Lonsdale) moving into the just finished Park Hill in the 1960s.
In 1989, Joy (Faith Omole) arrives in the unfamiliar city with her strict aunt, fleeing civil war in Liberia, the flats now rough and dangerous. 
In 2015 we meet Poppy (Alex Young), a posh, jaded southerner fleeing personal problems in London, part of a new wave of gentrifiers. 
As the three stories unfold they become increasingly interconnected.
Although essentially human stories about finding a 'home' the three stories are political too - with each progressing towards a Tory election victory in their respective eras. 
There are a few jokes too. But perhaps not enough to call it a comedy.  It's a sort of Blood Brothers but with less catchy songs.
Yes, the music is fine, the plotting quite clever, but the pacing a bit off. It's three hours long - and could have easier shed half of that.
A nice enough evening out but not deserving of all the 4- and 5-star reviews in my opinion.


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