pop cast

POP Music

Birmingham Rep Door


We all have that one song or even a full album that inexplicably triggers a high level of neural activity, sufficient to recall a package of memories good and bad around those melodies.

Friendships, breakups, that first dance., sometimes it’s not even a lyric but the beat of an introduction that’s enough to divert you out of your daily routine and redirect you to memory lane.

It’s that notion which is central to Anna Jordan’s new play POP Music . It’s a colourful positive departure from her previous works like the darkly violent Yen. Conceived with director James Grieve the play came to into being from their conversations about the power of the soundtrack of their lives.

Pop music is the result, a night feverish, set to the beat, conversation of two people, re discovering their past associations on an empty dancefloor at their friend’s wedding reception.

Katherine Kotz plays Kayla, the former full on party girl, struggling now with her mundane life in sales and recounting her heady days of nights out clubbing, getting drunk, turning boys into men and now forever in search of relighting that fire in her life.

So much so that her boring married life has led to a string of empty one night stands, a zest for excitement which has left her single again.

Kotz plays the character with passion and intensity .Jordan though has written her peppered with profanity which all felt like a cheap shot at ramping up the impact of this very likeable character.

Rakesh Boury is G, her dance partner and he is still carrying the scars of school bullying of which it is revealed that Kayla has been a willing part of but she no longer recognises him or remembers her deeds.

G has returned to the town from London after a failed relationship and although he has managed to follow his musical aspirations to the big city, his need to care for a sick family member is the real reason he has come home.

As the DJ drops yet another pop classic they dance, enthuse, recall and debate the power of pop music, their respective love for it and the effects it has had on their lives.

The concept of the play is engaging but at times technically fraught. In the want to make the play more accessible Ciaran Alexander Stewart is Remix a third none character who signs the production. He also becomes a crucial part of the many dance routines and whilst being a valid addition his presence visually distils the sense of just two people left at the party. Then there’s the music, obviously a crucial element but often louder than the actors.

For this reason it helps that the play is also surtitled, but while you are keeping up with the clever rap like dialogue on the screen you can at times be missing some of the great action in front of you.

It’s only after we get past the presentation of the idea of the soundtracks of our lives and begin to find out the truth about G and Kayla where the play really starts to take hold. G’s recollection of his mother is a poignant moment and a turning point in their empathy for one another.

Pop Music is packed with a ton of Dancefloor hits and when one arrives that is your own favourite the dialogue hits home harder than the beat.  It’s performed with energy and a level of enthusiasm that will leave feeling like you want to get up and dance with somebody.  To 22-09-18

Jeff Grant


Midlands Tour Dates

26 September, 7pm. Halesowen Library. 01384 812983

27 September, 7pm. West Bromwich Library. 0121 569 4904

28 September, 7pm. Northfield Arts Forum. artsforumnorthfield@gmail.com

3 October, 7.30pm. BID Deaf Cultural Centre, Ladywood. lisa.davies@bid.org.uk.

4 October, 7pm. Bleakhouse Library, Oldbury. 0121 422 2798

5 October, 1pm. Dolphin Centre, Ward End. 0121 326 8343

6 October, 7.30pm. The Old Print Works, Balsall Heath. www.oldprintworks.org/shop/popmusic

11 October, 6.30pm. The Pump, Kitts Green. 0121 675 8381

12 October, 6.30pm. Kingstanding Food Community, Kingstanding. 0121 683 1150

13 October, 1.30pm (Relaxed performance). SENSE Touch Base Pears, Selly Oak,  www.touchbasepears.org.uk

10 November 2018, Derby Theatre, Derby. 01332 59 39 39, https://www.derbytheatre.co.uk/ ,

5 December 2018, Artrix, Bromsgrove, 01527 577330, http://www.artrix.co.uk/


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