A musical set against the backdrop of austerity Britain may not sound like a great night out, but this hilarious, feisty and heartbreaking new musical follows six unlikely school friends as they rebel in The State of Things.
In the run up to their GCSE show, six Year 11 pupils discover the school’s music course is being cut, and their hopes of future studies are crumbling. Like a British School of Rock, the stage is packed with instruments which sets the platform for a series of original scores.
Yet unlike it’s American musical muse, The State of Things is not set in a private school but an Academy reeling from the cuts of the current government.
“It’s a story of rebellion against authority, the awkwardness of being teenagers and the struggles that young people and their families face when the welfare state is no longer there to support them,” says Elliot Clay, who wrote the rock musical with best friend Thomas Attwood.
“During my time at school I saw first-hand how these cutbacks hit our music and drama departments the hardest. Redundancies were commonplace, our two extracurricular orchestras were disbanded, student numbers opting to take music at GCSE and A-Level plummeted and, eventually, some creative courses weren’t offered to Sixth Form students at all.”
After sweeping five star reviews across an array of London’s most credible critics, it’s hoped The State of Things may tour nationwide later this year following its successful August-September stint at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre in Lewisham.