BM doesn’t normally do theatre reviews but…come back!
Actually hadn’t set foot in The Tron for a few years but there had been a buzz about this and the matinee was almost full – the evening show was sold out.
BP is a cross between a play, a musical performance/musical and a gig. It starts with a shall we say man of a certain age sitting at a bar table staring into place while ranged around him is a drums/guitar/bass set up plus amps and speakers. The piece concerns the story of Tommy, who the audience is introduced to as present day “older” Tommy, then we flash back to “young” Jimmy, a dreamer and songwriter growing up during the Britpop explosion, obsessed with the first Oasis album and “making it” himself.
With an economical cast of 6, several playing dual roles, this Andy McGregor-penned ensemble performance take the audience through wanting , then tasting success before circumstances intervene and things fall apart. The music the band plays (maybe 4 or 5 songs) is actually not bad and the cast have been picked because they can play and act, which gives BP credibility and a certain visceral excitement that sometimes lacks in theatre for BM.
Of course it helps that many of the audience lived and breathed Britpop and still remember it as a glorious era for music, but this is not just purely a nostalgia thing. BP make some universal points about the human condition, and packs a powerful emotional punch. It also helps that the script is mordantly hilarious and laced with gallows West of Scotland humour. Set in Greenock, the local references abound (Kilmacolm gets the inevitable slagging, Whiteout get it as well!), the teenage mannerisms, the of-their-era phrases and pop culture references (“Loaded” magazine) make the time fly by and with a running time of around two hours (with a half-time interval) BM predicts that this will be packing them in across Scotland as its tour progresses.
There is a lot more that could be said about this, but in short – recommended!