Car Crash Productions was founded in 2016 and aims to present fresh talent in contemporary shows. A public toilet may not be everybody’s idea of fresh, but it’s here that artistic director Tom Sergeant sets his devised musical, Splashback. It follows a loquacious and yet often over-looked toilet attendant, spritzing scent in a night-club loo. All human life passes through here – male and female – and the ever-optimistic Bernard does what he can to earn a crust and connect with the clients.
Devised through improvisation, Splashback suffers from a thin storyline and a lack of structure. Themes vary from shy bladder syndrome to parent/child relationships, but none of these are explored with any sense of conclusion. The lyrics rely heavily on repetition, but the tunes are catchy and they are delivered with bags of enthusiasm.
Sean Dale makes a suitably chilled Bernard, and delivers Just A Toilet Guy with all the sincerity of a classic power ballad. Lewis Jones and Will Lukeman offer a potted history of the loo and inject some much-needed comedy into this rather tepid script. Short on songs and slight on running time, Splashback premieres here hopefully more as a work-in-progress than the finished article.