Stephen Schwartz’s Working A Musical has clocked in to The Southwark Playhouse for its European premiere, directed by Luke Sheppard. Reworked from its original off Broadway production, it tells the stories of the, often overlooked, average worker.
Based on Studs Terkel’s book of interviews with real American workers, we get snapshots of working life. From the steelworker to the project manager, they all have their stories to tell, and hopes and dreams to fulfil. This means you won’t find a full storyline, although each segment does flow nicely in to the next and the whole thing feels more than coherent.
Monologues, song and dance combine to make one fantastic show, Fabian Aloise’s stunning choreography is perfect for the Southwark Playhouse stage. It never feels too big, but neither do you feel it constrained. Each moment of movement feels so carefully considered and purposeful.
The workers we meet want to be proud of their output, and if anyone deserves to be proud it’s the six young performers, making their professional debut. The graduates; Luke Latchman, Izuka Hoyle, Nicola Espallardo, Patrick Coulter, Huon Mackley and Kerri Norville are just phenomenal to watch. In fact, it would have been nice to see a little more of them, particularly in the next generation scene, but they really were working what they had.