A lifestyle blog all about Birmingham, UK.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

REVIEW: Pop Music at The REP, Birmingham

With a packed soundtrack including huge hits from the likes of Beyonce, Oasis and The Killers, I knew this was going to be my kind of show. However, throw the likes of Whigfield's Saturday Night and Madonna's Holiday, and I knew this was going to be my DREAM show. I have been obsessed with pop music my whole life, and have a habit of remembering what song was playing in very precise moments. A lot like what the basis of what Pop Music, now on stage at The REP in Birmingham, is all about. 

Pop Music, a short and sweet 75 minutes long, takes place at a wedding. It's late at night, the bride and groom are off to a Travelodge for their honeymoon and the dance floor is getting emptier. However, the free bar is still going strong, and so are gobby Kayla and sensitive G. At first, the two have absolutely nothing in common. But as they dance their way through 30 years of pop in a wonderful cocktail of nostalgia and drunkenness, they learn that they in fact knew each other at school. Kayla, as the leader of a popular girl gang, and G as the shy kid who got bullied - by the likes of Kayla. 

As each song booms out onto the dance floor by the moody DJ - the type who absolutely takes no requests - the two reminisce about their pasts whilst singing and dancing along to their favourite tracks. However, it isn't until they talk about where they are at in their lives now, that the show takes an emotional turn. Kayla, who dreamed of being a singer as a teen, has ended up in a dead end office job and G, who went on to have a hugely successful career, is in a dark place after his mother has passed away. It doesn't stay sad for long though, and the two become the best of friends despite what happened as teens.

The play has a very simple and understated set, as it really is all about the talent on stage. Just three actors are on stage for the whole show, but they are outstanding. The role of loud and boisterous Kayla is played by Katherine Kotz, whilst the role of G is taken on by Rakesh Boury. The third actor on stage is Remix, played by Ciaran Alexander Stewart, who not only provides BSL interpretation for Kayla and G, but also has incredible dance moves and fantastic comedic timing. Thanks to a monitor with subtitles too, the show is accessible to all, so we can all enjoy it equally. 

As the title suggests, this play, created by Anna Jordan, is all about the music and the role that it plays in our lives. The soundtrack is simply brilliant, and really does take the audience right to the heart of a classic wedding disco, or a Saturday night in Popworld! The soundtrack is only the start of what makes this show an absolute must see production. It is the perfect blend of hilarious one liners and incredibly emotional moments. But when I say it is hilarious, it genuinely is! The audience laughed out loud the whole way through, and with its cheekiness and downright dirtiness, it really is like being amongst your friends at a dreadful wedding - the type that always turn out to be the best ones!

However, what I loved most about this show is just how intimate it was. With it being in The Door at The REP, the audience were very close to the show itself, making it feel even more like we were actually the guests at the wedding, watching this unfold before us. Pop Music reminded me how great fun filled light-hearted shows can be. The type of production that makes you want to get up and sing along is a winner in my eyes. 

Director James Grieve says himself that Pop Music is a 'love letter to pop' and that is exactly what the show is. If you live for music, the way it can impact your life and the way it makes you feel, then do yourself a huge favour - book yourself a ticket to Pop Music. Don't forget your dancing shoes!

Pop Music: 10/10

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