By Isabella Fraser
Following a family from the Second World War through to modern day, this is a production that is interspersed with live and recorded music of the period, performed by a young theatre group.
The play starts off with some of the cast in the audience; while this can be effective, it was a little awkward for those audience members who had to move when the cast had to get onto stage. Once on stage, the acting was not often rooted in belief, which may be partly due to the large age gap some of the cast had to inhabit, out with their sphere of understanding. It can be a challenge to find believability and connection to someone out with your age range, but with some more conviction and belief in the story, it would work.
The use of live music is somewhat disjointed as there are not songs at the end of every section and one section in particular contains several songs, although it is not clear why that has occurred. The singing and playing of instruments is done well; it is just not clear enough why that followed the particular section, other than matching the dates of the time period, as some songs connected to the emotions in the scenes, but not all.
The end scene is the most striking and works effectively. The cast members who have returned to their original positions then come out again to say goodbye to the central figure, the old man who has shown the audience the stages of his life. This is a particularly heart-warming and emotional scene; it brings together the storyline, reinforcing the key figures in the life of this man. The music played during this is haunting.
The ending indicates that there is much scope for development in this piece and with more consideration and belief in the earlier scenes, and clarity in the usage of live music, this could become a strong musical production.