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INNIT musical artwork

all about theatre four star review

INNIT musical is set in Salford and is a tale of hope and redemption, The musical is produced by I4YPC (Innit For Young People) which is a young people's arts, education and wellbeing charity. The charity are going to use their share of the proceeds from ticket sales and use it to enable marginalised young people across Salford to access the Matinee performances for free which is fantastic as it will allow young people who without this initiative may never have got the opportunity to experience live theatre . INNIT musical was written and directed by Micky Dacks and the show is based on his own life story. Mickey was just 9 years old when he turned to a life of crime and by the age of 13 he had joined a Manchester street gang and was permanently excluded from the education system after being involved in a knife related incident. Eventually after a long career in the criminal world Mickey was jailed for 9 months. It was his time in prison which made him realise the error of his ways and he began to turn his life around. In prison Mickey had started to write poems, when he got out he was encouraged by his probation officer to pursue writing. Mickey joined a creative writing class and turned his poems into a play and then he wrote the INNIT musical. In 2007 INNIT the musical was commissioned by the Lowry to produce the show in their studio space, then in 2009 a semi professional production opened in the Lowry's Quays Theatre. The show is now back this year in the Quays theatre with a new cast.

INNIT musical production shot

INNIT musical tells the story of Ashley Thompson (William Bours) an 18 year old boy who lives with his alcoholic mother on a council estate in Salford. Ashley is involved with a local gang of scallies but when he meets Stacey (Ruthie Presh Lane) and they start dating he tries to turn his life around. Unfortunately after a violent row with his mother and the disappointment of not landing a job Ashley returns to the Scally gang and helps them plan the robbery of the local music shop. The robbery goes horribly wrong and Ashley and the rest of the scally gang end up in prison. Whilst in prison Ashley learns to play the guitar which is something he had always wanted to do, he also finds out Stacey is pregnant with his baby. These two thing give Ashley something to focus on when he gets out of prison and this allows him to turn his life around for good this time.

INNIT musical production shot

The set design for the show is quite simple with an industrial look about it, they had a huge rundown looking Salford sign on the right hand side of the stage with the letter R missing from it. The main set piece had a brick wall motif on one side which was used for when the scally gang were out and about on the streets of Salford, this could then be turned around to reveal different room settings such as Ashleys home, the music shop and Ashley's prison cell. There were also 2 large metal staircases which could be moved around. Although simple the set worked really well and was very effective.

INNIT musical production shot

One of the best things about this musical has to be its score, with music by Adam Burns, Micky Dacks, Ed Kainyek and additional lyrics by Ange Lea the show features an eclectic mix of original songs. It has some super catchy numbers such as "Universal Credit" which has been stuck in my head ever since I heard it, as well as beautiful Ballads such as " Is it love" and the hilarious opening number of act 2 "In the Slammer" are just some of my favourites.

The cast for this show were fantastic. William Bours did an excellent job in his professional debut as Ashley, he was able to show Ashley's vulnerable side which allowed the audience to really connect with and root for his character.

James Smalley, Jack Carroll, Tom Gallagher, Oliver Kemplay & Connor Darren-James all did an outstanding job of portraying the hilarious scally gang but it was Connor Darren-James which stood out the most for me, his facial expressions alone had me laughing out loud.

Ruthie Presh gave a truly heart warming performance as Ashley's girlfriend Stacey and her beautiful voice sounded fantastic in her solo number's.

Amy Warhurst delivered a truly mesmerising performance as Ashley's Alcoholic mother Kelly. Amy was absolutely hilarious in the drunken scenes and had the audience laughing out loud but was also wonderful when performing her characters more serious scenes to.

INNIT musical production shot

I really enjoyed the show but I thought the pace of the show really slowed down in the second act. I feel this was because certain scenes such as the scene where Ashley meets his cell mate for the first time and the scene where Ashley goes to apologise to the music shop owner were a little dragged out, I think if these scenes were shortened it would really improve the pace of the second act.

INNIT musical is a story about redemption, it is hilariously funny and has a lot of heart whilst also dealing with some hard hitting issues. So get yourself a ticket whilst you can as the show is only on at The Lowry until 23rd September.

If you would like to purchase tickets for INNIT musical you can do so by clicking on the button below.

If you would like more information about the show you can find it by clicking on the button below.

Photo Credit - The Lowry

Running time - 2 hrs 45 mins including interval (approx)

Age Guide - 11+

*Our tickets for this show were kindly gifted in exchange for an honest review


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