Thursday, February 2, 2012

'After the Turn' - the Tim Prottey-Jones musical

This was the first preview and, as I also found out, technically a dress rehearsal since there had been no time for a dress run. Even not taking that into account it was a great performance.

Plot summary: Michael (early 20s) lost his mother Amanda three years ago when she was run over by a car. He now lives with his uncle, Will, and since Amanda's death he has not spoken a word. Lauren, who is Michael's ex-girlfriend and who is now dating Wolf, a member of the band Michael used to be the lead singer of, starts visiting Michael regularly at Will's request to try and help Michael over his mother's death. 

After the Turn at The Courtyard Theatre, London (Off-West End)
Performance: 31st January 2012 at 19:30 (1st preview)
Seat: The third row or something (non-allocated seating)
Cast: Liam Doyle (Michael), Tori Allen-Martin (Lauren), Greg Oliver (Wolf), Stephen Rolley (Teenage Michael), Ashleigh Gray (Amanda), Stevie Webb (Will)

So Tim Prottey-Jones has become pretty famous in the world of musical theatre for the music he has composed and After the Turn is based on his songs. If you like his music, I most certainly recommend for you to see this production. Ashleigh being in this was my main reason for booking a ticket and it turned out to be a worthy reason as well. Excellent vocals and she actually is very scary in the part of the controlling mother. Stevie Webb also delivered brilliantly both vocally and acting-wise. The rest of the cast was younger and although obviously they all had great singing voices, I noticed that the rock style songs which encouraged shouting and forcing volume did wear their voices as the show progressed. However, this could have been to do with nerves as well and I think all this will improve at every performance. It would be interesting to go and see this again in the last week of the run or something to see how different the show has become (also, Sarah Earnshaw will be taking over as Amanda for the last week). 

I have to admit I was not that familiar with Tim Prottey-Jones's music before mainly because I am rather fond of the traditional Broadway musical style music rather than the popular music that many musicals in the recent years have adopted. Despite that, I was rather fond of many of the tracks. If I was to just pick one favourite it would probably be Just One Look but also Closer to Home and Mother, Mikey among others stood out to me. The musical was heavily focused on the music rather than the story line. A couple of things, especially with the ending, left me a little confused but that's all been cleared up for me now!

Especially Greg and Liam acted very well; particular credit to the latter for keeping up the 'mute' role. 
By the way, all the promo pictures and posters I have seen for this musical indicate that there is a lot of making out and undressing in the show but that is not the case so fear not; seeing this with an elderly relative will not be awkward. 

More information about the musical can be found here:

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