As the university-rich Western Cape calls back old students to resume their academic (and party) lives, a new batch of bright-eyed and bushy tailed first-years make their way into the often treacherous world that is student life. Well-timed at the beginning of the year, the talented theatre youths Grant Jacobs and Liam Mcdermott bring their own creation to stage at Kalk Bay Theatre in the shape of a pop rock musical: A Beautiful Wreckage.
Their talent is multifaceted and unmistakable. You might have seen this power duo behind the scenes, helping the Kalk Bay Theatre machine run smoothly. Now they take the limelight, and it’s well deserved. Their own hands and hearts crafted the script and songs, and their acting feels so real you often forget that it’s a show. It could be a series of conversations overheard on campus, in a club, in a buddy’s apartment. Beautiful singing voices are combined with lovely fresh faces; it’s a pleasure to see them on stage.
The overarching theme of the play might not have broad appeal though. If you are on your way to university, or still in the thick of student shenanigans, then yes, get yourself a ticket, take your friends, and make a Kalk Bay night of it. You’ll love it. However, the more discerning (or older) theatergoers might prefer to give it a miss, unless partying, candyflipping, hangovers and painful adolescent affairs appeal to you.
In collaboration with music producer Jonathan Simons and Mark Edwards’ clever projected visuals, it’s a cool, cute story. Personally, I would love to see Grant and Liam dig deeper into some of the delicate subjects that were raised in A Beautiful Wreckage. Nevertheless, as their themes mature, the future will shine brighter for these two playwrights, songwriters and actors.
A Beautiful Wreckage ran at Kalk Bay Theatre from 9 to 16 February.