Pros: Beautifully written – the musical variety manages to convey just about every human emotion.
Cons: The actors’ volume levels are sometimes too low for the musical accompaniment.
In a corner of west London at the charmingly grassroots Cockpit Theatre, Sevans Productions and Krystal Lee bring Scott Alan’s musical vision to life through a cast of West End alumni. The tale charts the lives of six individuals as they fall in and out of love, laugh, cry, learn to move on – and at one point even renounce their previous sexual preferences.
The production is touted as a ‘song cycle’, and it certainly delivers on this. The action is back-to-back musical joy. And like all good musicals, you eventually forget that the cast is actively engaging in song, and instead fall in to the suspended disbelief that this is just how they interact. The music was beautifully written and is performed just as well – there are humorous numbers, exchanges that move the plot on effortlessly, haunting melodies, soaring ensembles and pop-worthy hooks abound. In one song, musical cues from Bizet’s Carmen are playfully borrowed in a tango between the lovers, a rose clad between character Samuel’s teeth.
Performances by the cast are crushing, nostalgic, hilarious, and hopeful in equal measure. No surprise when their combined portfolio can reel off productions like Post Modern Jukebox, Wicked, and Book of Mormon all in one breath.
The theatre is in-the-round – which, for the purposes of this performance, allows the esteemed cast a chance to show off their talents in engaging the 360 degree audience. Set design by Simon Daw is perfect in its efficiency and understated elegance; a painted branch hangs from the ceiling, mirrored by a painted leaf that spans the floor of the space. A simple swing and bench provides plenty of flexibility for cast interaction.
For musical fans – not necessarily fans of musical theatre but of live music more generally – this is certainly one to keep in mind.
Book, Music & Lyrics: Scott Alan
Arrangements and Orchestrations: Scott Morgan
Direction: Scott Alan
Set and Costume Design: Simon Daw
Booking link: https://tickets.thecockpit.org.uk/sales/shows/the-distance-you-have-come
Booking until: 28th October 2018