A new musical featuring songs by singer/songwriter Benedict premieres at the Cockpit Theatre in Marylebone
Written by Sarah Henley and Tori Allen-Martin, Another Way is a witty one-Act musical which tells the story of six Londoners and their growth in themselves and their relationships in the space of three months.
The show begins with friends and business partners Toby (Bart Edwards) and Sam (Aiden Crawford) creating a video promoting "Another Way" to live and trying to make a difference in a world that is full of selfish acts used to manipulate and make money.
It covers some familiar themes: a heartbroken girl finding new love (Julie Atherton); a somewhat geeky graphic novelist trying to live up to his love interests ideal lifestyle (Andy Coxon); a couple who are troubled by illness (Matthew Collyer and Ria Cherrelle Horsford); and the two business partners pioneering their new way to live.
Director Bo Boland has made some unusual creative choices - from the minute you enter the auditorium it's clear this isn't your typical musical. Forced into a taped-off area, we have no choice to but to interact with fellow audience members and are left feeling uncomfortable and confused as the cast come out with witty remarks such as "have you all signed your release forms?" and, "I'm not meant to be here it is my lunch break".
Once being told "you're all free" it's straight into the action with the title number "Another Way" as we take our seats feeling distinctly dazed and unsettled. The whole show from the get-go feels as if it is haphazardly strung together until the connection each of the characters have with each other is revealed.
Although this production boasts a charming, melodic score by Benedict, there are over-long gaps between each musical number. The vocals from the cast and comedic elements in the script are what save the show but, even though there are beautiful melodies and an uplifting ending, I left feeling somewhat unsatisfied that there were not more musical numbers in the production to communicate the message clearer and create a smoother flow between scenes.
Another Way is an interesting and inspiring concept but unfortunately lacks ‘wow-factor'; if taken back to the drawing board it has the potential to be a real crowd pleaser, not just with its elegant score, but through the uplifting message it conveys.