Working

Adapted from a book of interviews with American workers by Studs Terkel and first performed in 1978, Working explores American working life through the actual words of those interviewed. The music is by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell) and Nina Faso. Twenty-six workers sing and talk about their lives, their jobs and their hopes. The range of jobs covered is vast: iron worker, parking lot attendant, schoolteacher, office workers, supermarket checker, trucker, salesman etc.

Working is very different from most stage musicals, in that there are no lead parts and there is no unified plot. There is also no narrative thread carrying the action forward, but it is arranged so that one scene makes a smooth transition into the next and what one character is saying is related in content to the character who precedes and follows. This makes Working an excellent ensemble piece, because it gives many actors a chance to share the spotlight. It was chosen for Edinburgh by the director for precisely this reason.

Without a single lead and with no clear narrative, the musical relies on all round performance and succeeds triumphantly. Every performer sings well and with passion – while on stage he or she really is a waitress, a cleaner or a mill worker. Working is gripping from beginning to end and the time flies by. I had never seen it performed before and enjoyed it immensely. The music is also surprisingly good. Because it uses workers’ actual words, they come across as genuine and moving. A real gem.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

History Boys

★★★★

Dracula

★★

Cherry Orchard

★★★★

Azincourt

★★★★

Secret Garden

★★★★

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

The Blurb

Blueside @ Pilrig Church, 12 August 6.15pm (1 hour 30 minutes)

Most Popular See More

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets