To be honest, it was probably always going to be a given that I would love ‘Pop Music’ , the story of two people bonding as singles at a wedding reception. What I didn’t realise was just how much I would enjoy it, just how funny and yet poignant it would be. Anna Jordan and James Grieve have crafted a wonderfully warm and witty piece that takes all those wonderful 90s tunes and uses them to tell a story that can make you laugh one minute, and wipe the tears away in the next. It is just amazing.
Kayla and G are singles at a wedding, Kayla a friend of the bride, G a friend of the groom. They meet on the dancefloor, but it turns out they have history, they went to the same school together although they certainly weren’t friends. As the night progresses we learn their stories as the DJ plays a soundtrack of their lives, through happy and sad moments, finding and losing love in many forms. They are people who are both hurting but find their spirits rising through the music they love, with pop music proving a metaphor for life.
The cast of three are perfect. Katherine Kotz is hilarious as the potty mouthed Kayla, the popular girl at High School who’s life has been on a downwards slide ever since. Her rendition of Single Ladies complete with a slut drop she can’t get up from is very funny, but she draws on her emotions to tell her story of lost love. You know she was pretty awful at school but you still root for her to turn her life around.
Rajesh Boury is equally as impressive as G, a man for whom school was the worst time, bullied and abused, but finding his solace in music. His sheer joy in music in dancing is infectious, and I love his rendition of ‘Jump Around’, but his monologue about his mother is beautiful and his performance is heart breaking.
Ciaran Alexander Stewart as Remix completes the cast. He signs the action and is very funny in his reactions to some of the funnier speeches. He almost steals the show with his brilliant Beyonce dance moves.
James Grieve says that Pop Music Is ‘…a hymn to lives lived underscored by songs, described in lyrics, uplifted on dancefloors, comforted through headphones.’ He missed that it is q wonderful, uplifting triumph.
The Rep Birmingham
Until 22nd September
Click here for ticket information