Morale is High

What would you want to know about the world in 2020?  HOME’s Push2017 Festival opens for me with Morale is High (Since We Gave Up Hope), ‘The debut from Hodgkiss Award-winning Powder Keg; a theatre-meets-gig that smashes pop and politics in some space age futuristic Hadron Collider, to create an ongoing evaluation of our political climate.’

Ross travels forwards in time and has the chance to see what is going to happen.  What does he see?  What does he do?  What has changed?  What has stayed the same?  Does he see hope, or is it something very different?  With three years to go with, this play chooses politics and social issues, which makes for a unique insight into how our daily lives might change.

It’s a fascinating structure, mixing impressive story telling with post-punk (think Jesus and Mary Chain) songs and physical theatre, with just a touch of stand up.  At times it grabs the audience by the throat, but equally there are other times when it loses its grip and drifts down alleys that don’t seem to add to the piece.  The storytelling is superb and deeply moving, and controls the pace brilliantly.  But this needs to be balanced by more intensity in the songs and set pieces; the ‘gig’ needs to feel like a gig.  As the show drives towards its conclusion, the themes fall into place and the final message is a convincing pay off.

This is an engaging show by a talented company with a powerful message.  But with more ambition this could be superb.

Morale is High is part of HOME’s PUSH Festival and is playing at the Anthony Burgess Foundation from 16 – 18 January 2017.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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