Sometimes the simplest idea for musical is often the best idea and this is showcased brilliantly here by Slipstream Theatre Company and their production of 8 Storeys Up.
8 Storeys Up is a new musical about life in an apartment block. When Haley moves into her new flat, she doesn't expect to be met with such open arms by everyone around her. They all gather to welcome their new neighbour: the over-excitable Cassie, the bickering couple Jack and Evelyn, and Ben, in love with two people.
But it isn't long before fireworks start to fly. Before they know it, things happen that mean nothing will ever be the same again. Taking place entirely in one apartment block, 8 Storeys Up follows eight characters and their interconnected tales of loves, laughs and lies as they go about their everyday lives. The show allows us to believe in the characters and empathise with them, as they change each other’s lives forever.
The show is simply staged using around a dozen cardboard boxes to symbolise everything you would see in a normal apartment and it works beautifully thanks to the heartfelt performances given by this very talented cast. Musically it's as strong as anything performing on the West End and that’s all due to Musical Directors Alex 'Teddy' Clements & Sam Dando who have assembled voices which blend perfectly with one another whilst holding the attention of the audience when performing solos.
From the moment the curtain rises the eight-strong cast deliver a powerhouse performance in pure harmony singing. The stories are interwoven in a human and heartfelt way - none more so than the story of Ben (Freddy Bowen) who as we meet him appears to be in love with Paul (Sam Otto) until the arrival of Cassie (Stacey Barnett) when affairs of the heart take on a whole new level.
You can’t help but want to get on the stage and shake Ben, a wonderful achievement for musical theatre. With music and lyrics by the MTM award-nominated Stephanie Jayne Amies alongside compassionate directing from Jamie Hemingway, this is a production which shines throughout.
8 Storeys Up is a human story told with passion, compassion and conviction and makes it a shining example of what great musical theatre is all about. Wonderful new writing combined with shining new talent ensures this is one musical you will not forget. Truly a show about love, made with love!