Great Again: The Musical review at Vaults, London – ‘an intriguing premise’
Feeling disaffected, disillusioned and out of step with her liberal parents and friends, Kelsey considers Trump a serious contender in the race for the Whitehouse and joins his campaign trail.
On the way she bonds with Josh, a young gay man and John, a black college graduate who is excited by Trump’s policies and feels that he might offer a genuine change for the better.
In Great Again: The Musical, Isla van Tricht bravely dives into a political hornet’s nest, attempting to explore the mindset of a disenchanted minority through the eyes of three angsty young adults. It’s a difficult musical theatre pill to swallow, requiring a delicate balancing act. But it doesn’t manages to pull this off and any attempt at lyrical subtlety or complexity of character gets lost along the way.
Guy Woolf’s diverse yet unremarkable score is hampered by a poor sound balance, favouring Lauren Ronan’s keyboard over any of the voices. As a result, many of the lyrics are lost save for Alex McMorran’s heartfelt ode to the blue collar worker.
If the default tone for addressing right wing politics in musical theatre is satire, then it’s encouraging that the writers have avoided this. The problem is that it’s difficult to feel any real empathy for characters that are so thinly explored.
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