The Tristan Bates is one of my favourite spots in London – a tiny theatre tucked into the Actors’ Centre, it manages to be intimate and feel like a real find whilst being situated right in the thick of theatreland, between Cambridge Circus and Seven Dials.
Notion Theatre have impressed me before, I was a massive fan of their debut production of Edges last year at The Landor and the innovative colourful set, fresh faced and talented performers were trademarks that both shows had in common. Good use was made of the space and the vocals were top notch.
This was a European premiere of the new musical Daybreak, in which the stories of two couples of consecutive generations in one house are insterspersed. The protagonist is Dylan, and we discover some home truths about his own marriage and that of his parents. It’s an interesting concept, but some of the more unbelievable aspects of the structure as the generations communicate make it feel slightly awkward. It’s sad because so many elements of this production are successful, but these more challenging aspects are not convincing – creating hurdles to building up any real connection between the audience and the characters. I found myself appreciating the production but not really rooting for anyone. I didn’t come away from the final song feeling particularly satisfied or uplifted, and despite the show being in my favourite format of 90-minutes-no-interval, it didn’t feel snappy.
So, worth a look to see a new production and some promising talent, however I don’t think that this musical will be the next big thing. The search continues!