One Good Soul

Awfully moralistic show that falls short.

★★
musicals review | Read in About 2 minutes
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One Good Soul
Published 17 Aug 2017

The students of the Blue Coat School in Coventry give a lot of energy to an awfully moralistic, one-dimensional portrayal of the less fortunate in society. They have to be admired for their enthusiasm and musicality, which is wasted on a book and lyrics that fall short on almost every level.

Inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan, the gods descend to earth in order to find one good soul that makes it worth saving the world from destruction. If a prostitute they encounter can prove she is a good person, society will be saved.

The main problem with this show is how "the poor" are portrayed: a bunch of hookers, violent junkies and prostitutes. “We are the working class, we have no education”, they sing at the start of the show. And it ends with: “Can’t we all be nice to one another, then we can be good, not poor.” It seems lyricist and director Andrew Kyle concludes that being poor generally excludes the possibility of someone being a "good" person.

None of the characters develop, and the songs don’t move the plot along. But the music is the most enjoyable aspect of this show. They’re written by Laurence T-Stannard, who also acts as the MD and sometimes joins in with harmonies during solos. There’s no dramatic reason for it, but at least it sounds nice. He also takes the role of narrator at points, telling the audience what has already been shown, or trying to bridge gaps. The premise of the musical could work, but this one needs to go back to the drawing board.