Glitter and Tears

Appetite Theatre, lead by young playwright Serafina Cusack, are distressingly cool. All tight clothes and slashes of glitter across their faces, Cusack’s talent show characters are aggressively stylish. A play brought together by young people, about young people, for young people - Appetite have nailed it when it comes to portraying their generation on stage.

A high-budget production of Glitter and Tears might get away with relying on style alone, but until then, the writing doesn’t quite hold up its end of the bargain.

It’s sad, then, that Glitter and Tears focuses on style and lacks substance. Pitched as a satirical take on well-known television talent shows, Cusack’s Britain Can Sing has a deadly twist. It’s a play about obsession and addiction, and this comes through with subtleties in character and storylines that blend together well - so it’s a shame that the overarching narrative comes together as a forgettable Hunger Games imitation. Romantic storylines spring out of nowhere due to an absence in chemistry, and the characters are a little stereotypical - most grating when lead female Leto Lavender (played by Cusack herself) trundles out the same old untrusting, ‘I’m incapable of love’ trope. Oh, you poor thing.

The cast are confident, and necessarily so: a reasonably large portion of their stage time is taken up by solo performances as they move through the rounds of the contest, which drag a little but are enjoyable enough. Comic relief is provided by other contestants Jarvis Johnson (Sam Bossman) and Felix Furlong (Simon Bradshaw) - the piece is absolutely at its best when it stops taking itself too seriously. Bradshaw in particular shines as Russell Brand-type Felix, lapping up laughs from the audience.

Lapses in tech cues, and what appears to be a never-ending series of scene changes while the cast move the cumbersome set around in the dark, let down the slick performances. A high-budget production of Glitter and Tears might get away with relying on style alone, but until then, the writing doesn’t quite hold up its end of the bargain.

Reviews by Caitlin Hobbs

Paradise in The Vault

The Cupboard

★★★★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

#Realiti

★★
Scottish Storytelling Centre

Pirates and Mermaids

★★★★★
SpaceTriplex

Boys

★★★★
theSpace @ Jury's Inn

One Above

★★★
Spotlites

Cracked Tiles

★★★★★

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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

The year 2025 marks the 10th anniversary of the most popular show on the air, Britain Can Sing. In the wings of a spectacular live final, we follow four contestants, all obsessed with winning for very different reasons, and this is the result of their clash.

Most Popular See More

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets