This up beat original show is set in 2050, in world that we can hardly recognize. It’s Trumps-ville, the horror show. A world absent of a democracy or religion and the internet in which we encounter a small family unit, wrapped in the platitudes of ‘America”, trying to survive. We meet Nana, with her short supply ingredients, making uninteresting meals as her teenage granddaughter, Tee, follows her beloved Rock idol and the older brother, Seth (John McEwen-Whyte) brings home the bacon as a private security guard.
Here is a kind of dystopia shrouded in shadow. They dodge the system, trying to avoid surveillance in order to keep safe and the young Tee in particular, who is ignorant of politics, gives little thought to the increasing unrest on their streets or indeed cares much for the wars that surround them.
Tee is played with an engaging sense of conviction by Francesca Mintowt, who convinces us that ignorance can be bliss and that rock n’ roll is where it’s at. However, when political reality kicks in the road can be long and winding. The Rock is inexplicably removed from society and Tee demands to know what sort of place she is living in that is able to edit out something that is so completely. And so the wake up call starts.
The People’s Rock: A Musical is a production from ‘Nevertheless She’, an all female collective whose work revolves around stories that look at the role of female identity. Ceci Mazarella and Emma Shaw both function as writer/producers while Sophie Benefer directs, moving the piece along with ease. Given the number of creatives on board it is to their credit that the show, though simply staged, has a power beyond itself. Scenes are generally snappy and lively, the songs with their rhyming couplets, simple tunes and catchy melodies keep us engaged in quite a light hearted manner while resonating an undertone about a world not so far away from us that is both unsettling and worrying. Let’s not be distracted by the sounds around us but see things for what they are. Certainly the ‘Nevertheless She’ collective seems an all enhancing creative force and are a talent to watch out for in the future – an ideal talent to be showcased at the Vault Festival.