Superhero at Southwark Playhouse

Superhero at Southwark Playhouse

Superhero is a brand new one man musical. It tells of the struggles of a father, Colin Bradley, to fight for custody of his daughter, Emily and to stop her moving to America with her mother. We hear about pivitol moments in their relationship and his battle. These moments range from Emily’s birth to his contact hearing, onto his dealings with Fathers for Justice.

Superhero ReviewThe first thing I thought when coming away from the show was how well structured it was. The show is centered around Colin’s court appearance to fight for this custody. During his statement to the judge we flit to snapshots of the moments leading up to this. It slowly and cleverly reveals how we ended up in Court with Colin. The book by Michael Conley was written so you immediately sympathised for Colin and this grew as the show progressed.

The music, by Joseph Finlay, was varied with humerous numbers and clever lyrics, by Richy Hughes, in numbers such as ‘Other Children’s Parents’  and contrasting touching moments in the songs. The show does lack that one big number that you go away singing and wanting to hear time and time again.

Superhero ReviewColin Bradley was performed by Michael Rouse, a great choice for the role. He portrays Colin as the ‘father next door’ meaning that it is easy to imagine many of your friends ending up in Colin’s position. This makes the show so much more relatable. He carry’s the 80 minute show, hardly stopping for breath and manages to perform numerous different styles of numbers.

A huge part of the success of the show is due to the clever direction by Adam Lenson. The constant change of setting and flashbacks could prove a challenge however through clever direction and a clever lighting plot meant this was overcome easily. I also particularly liked the quirky use of superhero dolls at one point.

The topic of father’s contact with their children is an issue that is often under discussed and simply accepted as status quo. Superhero does a brilliant job at shining a light on this issue and hopefully can be a springboard for further discussion. Its a show to see if you like your theatre to provoke thought, mean something but also despite the serious issue watch a thoroughly enjoyable performance.

Superhero is playing at Southwark Playhouse until 22nd July.

If you liked my review of Superhero you may also like my review of Stalking The Bogeyman, Side Show and my discussion of new musical theatre in London.

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