Lovestuck – A New Musical continues at the The Cockpit, London until 30 July.
Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩
New musical Lovestuck unveils the daily struggles students may face when going to university. Through the three main characters, we see the troubles, friendships and laughter of three years.
Charlie, played by Matthew Lee, is a fresh-faced individual who arrives on his first day still a little unsure of his sexuality.
He is soon made to feel comfortable with the introduction of Lily (Kathryn Kitchener), a quirky photography student who is unafraid to say what she thinks.
The final member of the gang – Jake (Luke de Belder), also known as ‘Master Longshaft’ – is a self-professed gamer who the audience first see falling in love with an awk.
Ben (Bryn Cash), Rachel (Kelly Renders) and James (Samuel Peters) make up the ensemble and provide many problems for lead character, Charlie.
The storyline is particularly enhanced by the music and lyrics of PJ Nielson.
At the start of the musical, the title songs captures all of the emotions Charlie (and other fresher university students) feel on their first day.
The funny rendition of ‘Bottleneck Memories’ will be all too familiar to university students as Jake has his first meeting with a man called ‘Jack Daniels’!
These beautifully-written songs mark each step of the three years, and the song ‘What next?’ is the perfect close as the audience sees all the characters about to step into the big wide world.
Besides the humour, the musical does touch on deeper messages, with a nervous Charlie coming out to his older brother Sam (Topher Lynn).
The emotion is heightened when Sam’s reply is much more touching than he predicted. Although the individuals have complicated predicaments thrown at them, the friendships become stronger.
The vocals of the cast are enhanced by the four-piece band which is in view at the back of the stage. The set is minimalistic and a transparent curtain is used to create space and the change of scenery.