What I liked
Everything. The music, the singing, the acting, the story…everything!
What I didn't like
There isn’t anything to not like for me
My overall impression
2017 happens to be the 40th anniversary of the release of “London Calling” by The Clash. It’s fitting to have this production at this year’s Fringe Fest. This one was the top show I wanted to see. I built it up so much in my head that anything less than spectacular would have been a letdown. This was NOT a letdown. This is everything I hoped it would be and it still left me wanting more.
This shows the life and struggles of Tom (played by Samuel Meader) the guitarist in a garage band who still lives at home and has no job. What starts off as a bunch of friends playing in a band turns into how each one of them strays from what Tom’s future vision is. You can see inspiration from movies like Quadrophenia (I couldn’t help but think Tom and Jimmy would have been best friends) and Trainspotting where one bad decision can have such an effect on your life and everyone around you. You follow each band mate as they go through their life and how they end up. They use Clash songs intermittently to give certain scenes that much more context, power, and meaning. No song ever felt forced or out of place and the actors delivering these songs did so with the perfect amount of angst that would make Joe Strummer proud. It was difficult for me to not sing along!
This cast is so strong and work so well together. You could see the energy between them all. Even when you had serious and somewhat heartbreaking moments like when Tom would speak to his parents, you could see just how committed and enthused everyone was. Everyone was having fun and that is so important in a show like this. One of the best things for me was when there were scene changes, the same two characters would switch the backdrops out and these characters took on a life of their own (one of whom looked like a young Siouxsie Sioux). It was almost 4th wall breaking when something didn’t line up right and she’d just turn and look at the audience like “Oh well, screw it” and we all laughed. I cannot recommend this show enough and will probably go back to see it if my scheduling allows it. If you’re a fan of The Clash, British culture, or just really good musical theatre, you need to see this.