In an explosion of gig-theatre, cringey ‘first time’ stories and slut-shaming, Superman provides a colourful and empowering account of the experiences teens exploring their sexuality for the first time may encounter. With spoken word and amazing original songs, the company delivers realistic scenarios with relatable stories, even down to the specificity of that awkward pillow talk and how to conquer the walk of shame.
The piece has amazing energy from the moment the first chord of the electric guitar is struck, leaving audiences in a trance of awe for the entirety of the show. With a cast of seven, Superman takes its audiences on a wild journey through some common experiences teen may have, all based around a house party. There is a wonderful balance of comedy, relatable re-enactment, and harrowing dialogue providing both enjoyment and an education in reliving some unspoken regularities faced by teens when it comes to sexual encounters.
Through exploration of lad culture, the concept of ‘the virgin’, STDs, and the conventions of hit show Love Island, this play leaves you both wanting more and genuinely feeling joy, armed with information about how to deal with potentially dangerous encounters you may face in environments such as these. You feel the weight of this through the vibrations in the floor, coming from your engrossment in the show and the powerful music blasting from the instruments played on stage.
It is youthful and fresh actor-musicianship, adding an extra pillar to this show’s depth and power. It feels both polished and unplugged, with songs varying in styles and countless storylines showing raw and real characters. This makes it feel almost timeless, and the soulful voices of the cast further this.
It is an activist riot, a concert, a plea for change and a feminist lecture all rolled into one, with an encompassing message mirroring that of the #metoo movement. It makes its audience ask themselves if they’ve ever been in a position where they wanted to say no, or if the accepted normality should be being asked in the first place.
This piece is a work in progress, developing as a project from students of the University of East Anglia, but its humility only adds to its character as a show. It speaks on behalf of anyone who is too scared to themselves, and you will find yourself lost in the music and characters you see on stage.
The music from the show is available on most streaming platforms – you won’t regret it!
Superman is playing at the VAULT Festival until 12 March, 2020. For more information and for tickets, see the VAULT Festival website.