Review: One Good Soul

Blue Coat Productions
Augustine’s until Aug 26th
4 Stars (4 / 5)

Let’s adapt it into a musical!


But Brecht?….


Please don’t… please don’t… oh god you’ve done it… and… Wow…
That’s pretty good actually… no wait a minute, that’s bloody Marvelous!

It’s not an easy thing to do, but a bunch of 6th formers from Coventry Blue Coat School have actually done it. The book is written by Andrew Kyle, their English teacher, but the music is blasted out by a cast of all-star youngsters (who double as actors) lead by pianist/composer-turned narrator-Laurence T-Stannard. The play comes to life during the song Sod It where each of a bunch of layabouts explain exactly how and why they gave up on their lives. Two students thrill us by revealing that not only can they act but join the band with their flutes.

The show is extraordinarily engaging from the get-go as three naive Gods descend to earth with a song, searching for a good person among the poor with acknowledgement of little chance of finding them among the rich. But the poor are predatory and only out for themselves. How can you care about others when you have an empty stomach?

A highlight of the show is a cynical number whose refrain hangs in the head long after leaving the hall.. “Yeah Right… and pigs might fly! It’s all just pie in the sky!…” This captures the dark and hopeless feeling that spirits the show. The crowning achievement is the use of counterpoint when several characters sing different songs at the same time along to the band.

There are a couple of strong expletives which seem unnecessary in the context, one of them in the opening number. On the whole the spirited performances enrapture with their jaunty and morose moods.