A New Musical in Concert debuted last night at the ADC Simon Lock

A New Musical in Concert was an entertaining romp through an interesting new show and was very enthusiastically received by the audience. It follows Jake, a budding teenage musician in London, as he tries to establish himself against the backdrop of the London riots. Although it fell prey to some of the harder-to-dodge musical theatre clichés, suffered a little from being produced as a minimalistic late show and had to be cut down into the barest essentials of the story, what has been revealed so far seems very promising, and was a great deal of fun.

It is a huge undertaking to produce a musical, and possibly an even more huge undertaking to write one. Katie Heath-Whyte and Ryan Rodrigues have tackled this challenge with confidence, as writer and composer respectively, with collaboration on lyrics. The scrip for this musical contains some great moments, and lots of the jokes, particularly in the scenes set in the high school, got big laughs from the audience.

The lyrics were perhaps a little less successful, and more prone to falling into cliché, but with a musical this is very hard to avoid, and would perhaps be less salient were the audience to see the whole show, rather than just a few songs with snippets of dialogue either side. The tunes themselves were catchy and singable - perfect for musical theatre. There were a few standout numbers among them, including the stylish gang-tango 'Get Even', the fun (although a little difficult to understand without the context of the whole show) 'Good Morning Sunshine', and the Finale, which built itself on the quiet and slightly too serious Prologue to become a highlight of this shortened version of the show.

James Day was charming and wide-eyed as Jake, the lead role, and I look forward to seeing his character developed a little more in the full version. His (suspected) love interest Jess, played by Ella Jenkinson, was playful and friendly with him, although I would have liked to see a little more detail and depth to their friendship. Caroline Sautter was also great as Jake's mum, and her rendition of the back story song 'Jackie's Tale' was good to listen to. Thomas Taplin gave a solid performance as Kyle, the gang leader, and will hopefully prove an interesting character in the full version. 

Although there were a few snags and weak points, A New Musical in Concert has the potential to be a really fun show. This teaser performance definitely pleased the crowd, and there were a few very promising songs. Although it suffered a little from being summarised, and from its minimalistic production, I really look forward to seeing the full version of this show in the future.