Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Sector 17 is this year’s offering from young drama group Indigo Co. Whilst it bears the hallmarks of youth group theatre, this is a really fun and enjoyable show, with a fantastic score. Certainly the best young company I’ve seen.
The plot for this musical appears to be inspired by Half-life 2, embellished with a boy meets girl story. In the aftermath of the ‘great wars’, the world has been divided into sectors, with sector 17 being allegedly the last civilized sector on earth. With William’s discovery, it soon becomes clear that all is not as it seems. Soon to unfold is a tale of rebels against an oppressive authority, and of love in the face of adversity. All in all makes for an enjoyable night out.
The greatest strength of this production is the catchy rock score. Sam Barnes and Jack Goyler have really created something wonderful. The plot and the script are both quite weak, but the songs are so good that they carry the audience through with ease. The music is performed by a great live band, and sung well by all involved. The members of this company are very talented and watchable, and they’ve all got voices to be proud of. Their performances show them to be obviously untrained, but in terms of enjoyment that really doesn’t matter here. I could listen to this company sing for a good while (indeed my copy of the very well produced soundtrack has been on repeat since coming home from the show).
I do think there is much that could be improved here however. The script needs a re-write, the acting toned down in many cases, and they need a far bigger stage if they’re going to have a cast with 20 odd people in it, but most importantly a clear direction needs to be decided. There were moments when it wasn’t entirely clear whether they intended to make a point seriously or in jest. Songs that demonstrated all the signs of comedic character numbers weren’t played for the laughs, and apparently serious moments had elements that caused many to collapse into giggles. With this confusion, to my mind the whole show would be greatly improved if it had just been unashamedly silly.
Nevertheless, this is a strong achievement from Indigo Co, and proves itself a fantastic musical for any school or drama group to put on. Every number turns into a great big harmonious rock ballad, it was fun to listen to, and looked like fun to perform. This is certainly the best young company I’ve seen, and I look forward to their return next year.