Review: ★★★★ Rebel Music, Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Set in Birmingham in 1976, Rebel Music tells a tale as musical as it is political, of what it was to be a teenager in England in the 70s. Hard hitting, fun and beautifully conveyed by a hugely talented cast, this production is well worth a trip to your nearest Midlands Venue.

Lauren Foster, Hannah Millward and Nathan Queeley-Dennis multi-role to tell this story primarily of diversity; of family, friends, politics and music among many other things. All three are wonderful actors; switching seamlessly between their roles. They take the audience through the music history of the Midlands, with enough detail to be informative but energy such that it is thoroughly enjoyable.

‘The Door’ at Birmingham Repertory Theatre is the perfect theatre for this unconventional piece. The epitome of a well used small space, the set is simple but very effective, proving that with a poignant story to tell little else is required visually.

Best described as a play with music this play could, for the most part, do without its lyrics. They are certainly amusing in places, but the music alone as the title eludes to is powerful enough. Songs feel as though they are inserted to make the show a musical, rather than to add dimensions to the story. That said, Nathan Queeley-Dennis in particular showcases his beautiful voice in his various roles.

Rebel Music is an education for anyone not familiar with the extremism and reggae scene in the seventies and a nostalgic retelling for anyone who is. It is also a stark indication of how little has really changed – the presentation may be different, but many issues are largely the same in 2019.

Emma Betty

Emma Betty
Emma Betty

Emma Betty is 28 and a nurse in Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. Emma has the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Soundtrack (On CD!) to blame for her love for Musical Theatre, which she found in her parents living room pretty much as soon as she was old enough to know what it was. She began combining her love for Theatre, the Internet and Writing while she was still at school, through various blogs and on social media. Having moved to London in 2013, she launched Upper Circle 4 years later. A couple of years on, she is delighted to have a small team and is so grateful to those helping Upper Circle to grow every day!

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