This new musical follows the story of Alex Peel, whose life is changed by a diagnosis which will eventually lead to her going completetly blind. The Art of Skipping is an entertaining and touching story with a beautiful score from emerging company Purple Door Productions.
Puts female relationships centre stage.
Alex is a passionate and determined student with a bright future in astronomy ahead. When she discovers she is losing her sight, and may be completely blind within a year, she struggles to find the motivation to continue to fight for her dream career. Her relationship with her girlfriend, Jay, is on the rocks as Alex becomes distanced, and she struggles to process the huge change in her life. Exploring themes of ambition, love and trust, The Art of Skipping puts female relationships centre stage.
The cast of three give sincere, heartfelt performances, holding the relatively large space in Greenside’s Emerald Theatre with assurance. Lisa Macgregor portrays Alex with a sense of enthusiasm and naivety, as a star obsessed student whose tenacity is both endearing and admirable. Kristina Demou’s performance as Alex’s mother is filled with honesty and warmth, while Emily Panes as Jay conveys the complexity of the challenges and frustrations of supporting someone through such a diagnosis. All three have beautiful voices showcased by the wonderful songs, each of which are an absolute joy to hear.
It does feel as though the story is a little slow-burning for the first 20 minutes, and this large proportion of time taken to introduce the characters means that the effect of Alex’s life changing diagnosis is a little rushed. The most compelling element to the story is certainly the complexities of the impact on Alex’s relationship with Jay, and her loss of motivation to fight for her passion, and it would be lovely to spend a little more time exploring this. It may also have been helpful to go into more detail with regards to the reality of those who experience blindness, as this is such a key driving force behind the protagonist’s decisions.
Nevertheless, this is an uplifting story told with some truly beautiful music. Although the storyline might be better adjusted to cut to the chase of the conflict, there is evidently huge promise and ambition in this emerging company.