Tron Theatre, Glasgow
30 September 2022
This is a beautiful show with a strong story and an important message. I was originally drawn to this play as it's set on the Isle of Cumbrae and the town of Millport.
If you grew up on the west coast of Scotland as I did, Millport has an almost magical promise of summer holidays, boats rides and adventure. In reality, there's nothing there but a rock painted like a crocodile and an annual Country music festival... But you do need to take the ferry from the mainland to reach it, and so it is automatically exotic! Even as adults, it's a place close to many peoples hearts in Scotland.
In this play we meet Steven who has grown up on the island and is destined to inherit his dad's pub.
At 17, he's starting to explore feelings for a classmate. Then he meets an exuberant and kind drag queen (Vincente Miguel) and his life changes for ever. Steven makes some tough choices and we witness the highs and lows with him.
I love the references to local culture. Is pizza crunch a uniquely west of Scotland thing?! But really, the story will be relatable to anyone who has been a teenager or who has struggled with life choices.
This is the second time that I've seen this play but this time with an all new cast and lead actor in Stephen Arden. Both performances have been nothing short of astonishing.
I laughed and cried both times. This is a show with heart and soul. It's heart-breaking and wonderful.
There are a lot of big musical theatre shows touring the UK today with largely forgettable soundtracks. Not here! Crocodile Rock is full of genuinely brilliant songs. Andy McGregor is a talented writer and I would love a cast recording from this show (and from Spuds please).
The stunning 'Shame' and 'Home' are so moving you could hear a pin drop in the theatre. Lyrics such as "You can't see the stars from London, not like you can on the Clyde" tug at my heartstrings.
Upbeat anthems 'Living my best life' and 'Queen of the Island' get the audience clapping and cheering. After I first saw this show in Cumbernauld in June, I bounced around the office for weeks afterwards singing "I'm the Queen of the island". I don't care if I seem unhinged; It's an absolute banger!
[Review first posted on Instagram 4 October 2022]
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