What is going on in the minds of the young people around you? Have you ever wondered? Wonder no longer…
This song cycle, I Could Use a Drink, written by Drew Gasparini provides snapshots of different situations facing young women and men. Gasparini is a young American composer and lyricist, and the breadth of his writing talent is clear from this concert. Covering themes as diverse as teenage pregnancy, the fatal consequences of bullying, and all stages of relationships, I Could Use a Drink was originally released as an album in 2013, and now receives its UK premiere in the format of an audio-visual album.
While the cast of talented young West End actors did a brilliant job of translating Gasparini’s music onto the screen, for me personally the presentation may have benefited from the presence of an MC or from introductions to the songs given in character by the actors themselves. Having said that, the storytelling in each number was strong, and not having a thread to follow throughout the piece perhaps added to the idea of chaotic passion that I believe Gasparini is wanting to show in the minds of today’s youth.
The staging at Fiction Studios made this concert feel particularly accessible; it looked like exactly the kind of contemporary musical theatre gig in a cute basement café that I would want to go to in person, and Jake Waby did a great job filming and editing the production to draw you in, right from the opening shots of the band. Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the musical direction from Flynn Sturgeon, who has a real gift for guiding the band through the varying musical styles with ease.
Tickets can be purchased from www.stream.theatre/season/98 and there are performances until 16th May 2021 and cost £15 including fees. Follow I Could Use a Drink on Twitter or Instagram: @icuaduk for more information.
Directed by Alex Conder, the cast comprised Ahmed Hamad, Billy Nevers, Caroline Kay, Luke Bayer, Maiya Quansah-Breed, Olivia Lallo And Tom Francis.
Reviewer: Jo Tillotson
Reviewed: 6th May 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★