Ruby and the Vinyl

There something quite exciting about the prospect of a new musical running at an hour without a big stage or fancy lighting or even a band and only three performers. This is what is given by Ruby and the Vinyl. However the production just doesn’t stand up to this excitement. Aesthetically the show is pretty and the actors are excellent. But sadly, the music numbers, directing choices and plot just aren’t up to scratch.

Watchable and has a lot of potential but just never reaches what it could be.

This new musical follows the classic story of boy meets girl, watches too much Netflix and starts to lose sight of reality. The ending has a surprise physic twist making it feel more like the conclusion of a first act, where the second act will be where it gets exciting, rather than a complete production. It is set in a vintage shop owned by the eponymous Ruby. The music has a retro Kate Nash feel to it which is very pleasant to listen too but nothing to worry about being stuck in your head for any length of time.

The character of Ruby is never introduced instead she acts as the musical staple for the show. This is fine when she is doing narrative section but when she is joining in the love song-styled duets it becomes a bit odd. The idea of not having band with the production is a good idea but having such a seemingly large character, from her bold consuming and by being the owner of the shop, sit at the side of the stage never interacting acts as a poor replacement. For the most part the performances were exceptional, each actor has an incredibly beautiful voice. Although it seems that somewhere along the line the company have forgotten that not all lines need to be delivered to the audience. Overall the show is watchable and has a lot of potential but just never reaches what it could be. 

Reviews by Gillian Bain

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

By John and Elizabeth Godber. Music by Ruby Macintosh. In a vintage shop in Hull, two students come together through their shared obsession with box sets, but will it last? Reality and non-reality merge as they find it harder to separate truth from fiction. John Godber is an internationally renowned dramatist, winning numerous prizes including a Laurence Olivier Award and two BAFTAs. Elizabeth Godber is an emerging talent, having been part of the BFI Film Academy Screenwriter's programme. Ruby Macintosh is a LIPA-trained singer-songwriter whose unique sound is inspired by music from the 50s.