For those of you who are not aware, ‘Spring Awakening’, Showstoppers latest offering, is not your standard musical. Having researched the basis of the musical, I looked forward to seeing how Showstoppers would pull it off with great interest – the 1892 play that it was based on was banned in the UK until as late as 1963 due to the controversial issues that it covers, which involve abortion, suicide, child abuse and homosexuality, amongst other sensitive topics.
It tells the story of adolescents in Germany discovering their sexuality and trying to understand their growing erotic desires, with little advice to help them deal with their feelings, due to the sexually-repressive culture of the religious late 19th century Europe. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, this backfires with tragic consequences.
Despite not usually being a massive fan of musicals I thought the production was fantastic; there was a nice blend of humorous and poignant scenes, with engrossing acting and singing. At two hours long you certainly get your money’s worth – it was entertaining throughout and was rounded off with a great production number called “The Song of Purple Summer”.
The band were good and the score matched the emotion of each scene well. The small size of the Annex Theatre enhanced this, along with the atmospheric lighting. The main trio of Jade Thompson (Wendla Bergmann), Peter Ward (Moritz Stiefel) and Jez Roberts (Melchior Gabor) all performed impressively, with a special mention to Mark Hill, who switched between his multitude of characters seamlessly.
Spring Awakening is running up to and including Saturday with doors from 7.15pm in the Annex Theatre, and with tickets at only £6.50 for students or £5 with a Performing Arts card it is well worth checking out. I could not recommend this production highly enough, and I will certainly be checking out Showstoppers’ future shows!
Further details can be found and here.