Departures: A Song Cycle

The idea of the song cycle is to use an original thought from which the music and lyrics is constructed as opposed to writing a book or adapting material from an original source. Sheffield based Verismo Theatre bring such a song cycle to the fringe, based on interviews from individuals across a diverse range of British communities. Each interview answers the same question: "What is the biggest challenge in your life at the moment?” These were transcribed and then adapted into song using a variety of musical theatre styles, from contemporary pop and funk to barbershop.

the show weaves a tapestry of emotion for one character who simply visits the station to have company and to escape loneliness

The show touches on a variety of topics including immigration, misogyny and internet dating, telling the story of eight strangers standing at a nondescript railway platform on an unremarkable weekday afternoon. As their train is delayed further, these Britons put down their crumpled Metros, pocket their bleeping smartphones and begin to share their secrets, hopes and fears. The use of a train station platform is extremely fitting and the show weaves a tapestry of emotion for one character who simply visits the station to have company and to escape loneliness.

This is a stylish production tucked away in C venues’ newest space, C Cubed, housed in the historic Riddles Court. The venue’s intimacy really adds to the production, with soaring musical styles that showcase the 8 strong cast stunning vocals. Initially there were a couple of issues of pitching but these were soon resolved. Matthew Malone’s score lends itself well to this musical journey. Director Joe Bunce has worked the space expertly allowing each of the 8 performers their chance to shine, although there is more than one use of strong language which actually pulls the production down rather than adding anything to it. That aside, this is a production filled with promise; its ability to show human compassion and emotion is a refreshing addition to the musicals section of this year’s festival and ensures that Departures shines like a jewel.

Reviews by Brett Herriot

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Alba - A New Scottish Musical

★★★★★
St Andrew's and St George's West, George St

Anthems - West End Showstoppers

★★★★
St Andrew's and St George's West, George St

Fringe Fantasmic!

★★★
The Assembly Rooms

Don't Tell Him Pike

★★★★★
Paradise in Augustines

Miss Saigon School Edition

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Eight strangers stand at a nondescript railway platform on an unremarkable weekday afternoon. As their train is delayed further, they put down their crumpled Metros, pocket their bleeping smartphones and begin to share their secrets, hopes and fears. A musical snapshot of modern Britain, developed through interviews and social experiment, by Joe Bunce and Matthew Malone. Previous work: 'Complex harmonies...beautiful, poignant and well-realised' (BroadwayBaby). 'A tour de force of remarkable power and complexity' (Sheffield Telegraph). ‘Sharp wit and good music - it is full of joy' (ThreeWeeks). 'An appealing and fun style of storytelling' (Scotsman).

Most Popular See More

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets