Review: Too Much Pressure, at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
The set design for Too Much Pressure positions a real live rock band on one side of the stage, a broken down car on the other.
The cast perform in the space in between.
Which is appropriate, since this is a play about Coventry in 1979, when music was exploding and industry was corroding, and locals were caught up in the middle.
Gary is a schoolboy who believes his future lies in fronting his own band.
Dragging swotty Nick into his orbit, along with Nick’s pretty girlfriend, Sonya, his dream appears to be coming to fruition.
Meanwhile, Gary’s dad, Cliff, and brother, Terry, are wading through a nightmare.
Both workers at local car plants – along with Cliff’s friend Neville – they must face up to the possibility of losing their jobs.
This truly was the best of times and the worst of times for Coventry. Unfortunately, Too Much Pressure doesn’t quite capture the moment.
The three band members are meant to be working-class teens, striving for rock god fame. Yet they are all rather prim and smarty pants articulate.
Also, the drama is driven by a need to tackle issues, with less attention given to an intriguing plot and memorable characterisation.
However, the songs – specially written for the play, and performed with panache by local band, The Ripps – are foot-stompingly catchy.
If only the rest of Too Much Pressure had that same irrepressible energy.
Until February 19
>Belgrade Theatre website