The musical Spring Awakening is based on the original play by Frank Wedekind; a journey through adolescence, sexual awakening and the suffocating attitudes of the generations surrounding them.  

Here the small cast take on the enormously difficult score, intricate harmonies and full on company numbers are there to evoke deep emotions although the more vibrant numbers in the score are at odds with the time setting through their contemporary language and attitude.  

This is a challenging piece for the young actors, both dramatically and vocally. Subject matter of simulated sex and masturbation is totally fitting and justified within the structure of the piece and dealt with openly. The angst of growing sexual awareness is captured well by most of the cast and the resulting consequences are dealt with via draconian measures. The episodic nature of the script makes detailed characterisation difficult and the presence of the “chorus” during the most intimate moments alongside the dialogue of the school teachers ensure that we are kept at distance and are merely voyeurs of the various tales.


The Rondo space is beautifully cluttered by Set Designer (Becca Long) and the resulting levels are used to good effect by director James Moore. The band is over amplified at times and it is often hard to hear the vocals and dialogue from the cast which in turns affects the intimate nature and flow of the piece. In such a small space it is surprising to have the dialogue amplified.


This is a show brimming with potential future talent, the large audience reflects the respect for Spare Room Theatre and once again they are bold enough to bring a relatively new musical to the region and to local audiences. Performances continue until Saturday.


Petra Schofield