The Prodigals: A Man Had Two Sons; REVIEWS.
It was all the more authentic having been choreographed by former Royal Military policeman turned actor/consultant Brendan Riding alongside choreographer Natalie Murdoch, who has a background in energetic urban street dance.
As the name suggests the musical is a modern version of the Biblical parable of the prodigal son in a military setting - Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
It is an intensely moving story about war, drugs and the relationship between three men - a colonel and his two sons. The brothers, who lost their mother aged 13 and 17, grow up into an army family and train as soldiers.
Yoga-practising Mike (Sam Ferriday) - the eldest - is a captain, who was top of his class at Sandhurst. He plays by the rules and treats his body as a temple. Kyle (Greg Oliver) is more into playing guitar with his friend Kelly - former X Factor contender Sarah Watson. When they get offered a contract with 'Lost' Records and the chance to support The Pharisees on tour, Kyle leaves the army and gets hooked on heroin. His fall from grace is a nod to music's modern prodigal son, Pete Doherty.
The staging is stunning, based around a huge metal cage called The Beast, cleverly overlaid with striking projections, from beautiful poppy fields blowing in the wind to Kelly's handwritten diary entries and a massive Union Jack.
The acting and singing is top notch but I was expecting rock star Kyle's band, The Prodigals, to be a little more edgy - it sounded more X Factor than The Libertines.
The Prodigals is a musical with its heart in the right place. Be prepared for a night of raw emotion.
The play runs until September 14 Catherine Vonledebur