The new, student-written musical Shower Thoughts provides a refreshing insight into life in a typical student flat today. The musical is set in a bathroom, where five flatmates come in to reveal different, and often vulnerable, aspects of their lives. Albeit a straightforward concept, it was this well executed simplicity that made the show so special. The plain bathroom set provided opportunities for clever staging and some wonderfully comical moments, and facilitated an intimate connection with the characters.
The show opens with characters Eva (Sara Pearce) and Sophie (Stephanie Herron), who are hiding their relationship from their flatmates. Pearce and Herron’s natural chemistry and comedic timing made the audience root for the couple straight away. They set the tone of the show very effectively as they intertwined comedy and sexual innuendo with more serious problems concerning their relationship. This duality of humour and solemnity throughout was one of the show’s standout strengths. Other characters represented relevant topics such as mental health, addiction, and dating, whilst maintaining an impressive balance of sensitivity and humour.
However, there were some slightly jarring changes in tone, such as Sophie’s song about her struggle with an eating disorder. The song itself was wonderfully acted and sung, but it felt a little misplaced in relation to the rest of the show. The body image issue appeared late in the show and was never referred to again, even in the revelation scene, where each of the characters talked about their issues. Despite this, the show was genuinely funny throughout and it expertly tackled millennial issues. The characters used their wit, charm and great singing to win over the audience.
The music in the show complimented the dialogue very well and there were some standout songs, such as The Lady at the Doctor, sung by Connor Norris. The vocal performances were excellent across the board and Pearce’s voice was particularly impressive. Some of the songs in the middle of the show weren’t particularly memorable and felt somewhat repetitive but it did not take away from the overall effect of the show.
It is often said that people come up with their best ideas in the shower, and this fantastic new musical has given us a magical glimpse into those unique and relatable Shower Thoughts.