50 minutes is not a long time in theatre. It is surely not long enough to introduce six characters and develop six storylines all of which intertwine, with enough depth to validate the show as a stand alone production rather than a workshop or work-in-progress, or is it?
6, a new musical by New York composer Zack Zadeck and given its European premiere by London based theatre company Twenty Something Productions, charts the journey of six New Yorkers over the course of six years, as they effect and impact each others lives. It's gutsy and ambitious, dealing with issues from drug use to adoption, terminal illness to losing a child.
The performances are strong from the whole cast including Amy-Jean Ward as newly married Karen, Chloe Nicolson as drug addict and new mum April, Ben Vivian-Jones as womaniser turned Huntington's sufferer, Olivia Stuart's medical graduate-cum-adulterer, Alex Pritchett as Tom, a man of the cloth who falls from grace following the sudden loss of a child, and a standout performance from Steffan Lloyd Evans as rising corporate star Harvey, who lends is enviable falsetto to many of the shows contemporary pop styled songs.
A mention should also go to director Matt Harrison whose ingenious set consists only of a ladder and three suitcases manipulated by the cast to create the various locations the action finds itself in.
Is 50 minutes long enough to effectively portray the plights of these six characters? Probably not, it does seem like a workshop for a longer show, but outside of the fringe with more investment and development, this could well be a worthy rival of similar musicals like RENT and Songs For a New World.
6 runs at the SpaceUK on North Bridge until 23 August.