Rockstar isn't your stereotypical rock musical. It follows the story of three artists whose lives are changed when their love lives become complicated whilst working together to create something special musically and achieving fame. Secrets and lies emerge, power struggles ensue with their manager - will this unlikely trio find a way to solve this crisis and find a creative voice?
Rockstar is a strong story that needs to be watched
When we think of rock musicals, the first ones we tend to think of can be We Will Rock You and Rock of Ages. These styles use rock songs and storylines that are made exciting by a live band and are not always in the realm of believability. Here with Rockstar, we get a very different feel as we not only see the performances that happen on-stage, but a very different perspective as we go backstage and witness the reality of all that slowly unravels as dangerous games of love are played out. Each carefully crafted song is on a backing track providing a background and backbone to each character, giving them a platform to sing the ironic reality of what each character goes through. Occasionally, with mics being used for the rock moments song-wise, it seems like one or two characters appear to be nervous using them and we lose some of the lyrics, particularly near the beginning of the show. However, off mic in the scripted parts, every single character is strong and dedicated and you can hear every word and emotion portrayed.
Charlie Purbrook plays the deluded star-in-the-making Jack, who lets his own ego carry him down a rabbit hole of destruction. He handles each deflection and denial with such rock star charisma on one hand and, behind the scenes, sensitivity with the other. Every time he pushes someone away based on his feelings being suppressed, we feel like he needs a hug and to be reassured it's ok not to be ok. He is complimented by the raw and honest rejected songwriting friend Billy (Will Mugford), whose main goal in this show is to be accepted creatively and romantically. Mugford's emotional performances shine as he struggles to be heard, as well as try to be the voice of reason to Jack.
Mara however is the shining light in this trio. Emily Santell showcases her musical prowess and acting skills as she portrays a woman who loves singing and who lets her heart get carried away with her, as she gets caught up in this twisted web they unwittingly weave. Her soul is free as she lets herself be in the moment on stage and is a joy to watch. Finishing this cast strongly is the power crazy manager Alistair (Olly Medlicott). As opposed to the dynamic trio, Medlicott is strong in his almost 'Bond Villainesque' portrayal who would happily be the next Simon Cowell if he had a choice. He brings a smooth and dynamic element to Rockstar and keeps you on the edge of your seats to see what dastardly trick he pulls off next.
Rockstar is a strong story that needs to be watched if you love perspectives being challenged and strong original songs.