Last month I was lucky enough to be invited by director Michelle Payne, to see The Out of Work Collective perform the musical “Ordinary Days” at Ye Olde Rose and Crown in Walthamstow, East London.
I’d never seen this musical before, but had heard great things about it.
The musical follows four characters, Claire, Jason, Deb and Warren in present day New York, USA. The story is told through song, 21 to be precise.
At first we meet Warren, an art graduate who is house sitting at his mentor’s apartment whilst he’s in prison, he’s desperately trying to promote his art on the streets of New York, but has had no big break yet.
Then we meet Deb, a girl from the country who has come to the big city to make a career & life for herself, she’s currently a grad student who by chance or fate, meets Warren , with whom she strikes up a friendship.
Next we meet Jason (Claire’s boyfriend), he’s unpacking, moving into Claire’s apartment, then we meet Claire, she seems like she’s not too sure about Jason moving in. The show brings you into the complexities of each of them as well as Jason & Claire as a couple, as they make plans, adapt to their new living situation.
I’d never been to the Ye Olde Crown & Rose Theatre before, but I was pleasantly surprised by the intimate space above the pub, once upstairs you totally forget that you are above a pub with no noise spilling in.
As you can see from the photo above, the set was a simple one, but somehow the fantastic cast managed to transport us to various places, from the New York streets, to an art gallery and to Claire‘s apartment, all with minimal set and light changes – I was very impressed.
The music and lyrics for this show is written by Adam Gwon & played live, brilliantly by Henry Brennan I have to say, this is by far my favourite musical soundtrack that I have heard in a very long time, the songs are so memorable and I actually googled to find a place to buy it, i’ve also heard some versions on YouTube, but I can hand on heart say, that none have sounded as good as the cast that I heard from The Out of Work Collective.
Absolutely loved the duet between Claire & Jason – “I’m Trying”
Spotify & Amazon Music are among suppliers where you can buy the soundtrack, just in case you’re tempted to have a listen or have already fallen in love with the score like me.
Warren – played by Grant Cartwright, is such a loveable character, his passion for art and life is infectious and his character brought a smile to my face. Grant played him with such passion and humour and I wondered how he managed to stay in character whilst interacting with the audience with such strong eye contact & dialogue at times, not knowing what reaction he would receive in return, a fantastic actor.
Grant trained at Mountview Theatre Academy – You can follow him on twitter at @yourwishgranted
Debs – played by Julie Cloke, I loved Debs immediately, she’s a small town girl in the big city, desperately trying to find her place in the world. The first thing I noticed, was Julie Cloke’s voice – it is amazing, I was mesmerized by the way she added personality and humour to the lyrics, I could listen to her sing all day 🙂
Julie trained at The American Musical Theatre Academy – You can follow her on twitter at @hullabalo
Jason – Played by Danny Lawton, He is in love with Claire, a lovely boyfriend who moves in and seems to be happy with the way his life is going. Danny is a very strong actor with a great singing voice, I was swept in by the various emotions that he portrayed and at times he made me really emphasise with Jason.
Danny trained at Guildford School of Acting – You can follow him on twitter at @D4nnyL4wton
Claire – Played by Megan Fitzpatrick, I found Claire to be the most complex character and a little selfish, but then we learn her back story and her emotions are put into context. Megan really portrays a variety of emotions without losing any vocal range during the songs, her singing voice is also very impressive.
Megan trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and is Co-Founder of The Out of Work Collective – You can follow Megan on twitter at @fitz_meggie
The show was performed at Ye Olde Crown and Rose Theatre in London – 12th -15th April 2017 & Directed by the talented Michelle Payne.
Production Company – The Out of Work Collective
We are a company built up of a community of artists who are ‘resting’ or ‘out of work’. The company was started by a group of people working in London’s West End Theatres… in Front of House jobs. We realised that we work everyday with tonnes of passionate and talented artists and is we worked together we could create some great theatre. (Source: Ticket Source Website)
Follow the company on twitter – @outofworkldn
I can honestly say that this is one of my favourite musicals, and cannot wait to see it again, someday soon.
Thanks for reading!