by Zahid Fayyaz
This is a new, box fresh new musical, with a LGBTQ+ focus. Set in a Catholic school, it features four young student musicians trying to play their music, which shows their queer identities. Since it’s 1994, the school is not happy about it and tries to shut them down. However, the students in question are not going to give up without a fight.
This is the first outing for this particular show and as such, it is a little scrappy. There are also some technical issues with the sound and vocals, though this is sure to be ironed out over the run. The production has a lot of heart, with the pop-punk songs in particular being excellent and tuneful. The acting needs a little development since the book is a little slogan-heavy rather than flowing naturally. However, the musicianship and songs help move beyond these flaws, and the evening overall is still very enjoyable.
It’s inappropriate to be too harsh on a show like this that’s clearly at the beginning of a longer production journey. Whilst it does need some more work and development, it’s clear that in time there is a lot that’s good in this piece. In the near future, it will be something very worthwhile.
The Phase runs through 12 March.
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