In an epic one-night-only concert at the Lyric Theatre, SuperYou the Musical, written and composed by the multi-talented Lourds Lane and directed by JoAnn M. Hunter, unfolded a transformative narrative that resonated with the audience's hearts. The story follows Katie, brought to life by the exceptionally talented Lucie Jones, as she navigates the challenges of grief, family struggles, and the pursuit of personal identity and her dreams. The loss of her brother Matty, played with heartfelt authenticity by Jonty Peach, sets the stage for Katie's journey towards self-love and empowerment. The emergence of her superheroine creations - Seven, Blast, Ima-Mazing, and Rise - beautifully portrayed by Joni Ayton-Kent, Sharon Ballard, Jenny O’Leary, and Lourds Lane respectively, added a layer of depth to the narrative.
The concert's presentation, blending musical performance and visual storytelling with projection design by Caite Hevner, painted a vibrant and whimsical picture reminiscent of comic book aesthetics. The projections served as a visual aid, seamlessly transporting the audience into the fantastical world of these superheroines and the different locations where the action happened. However, the intermittent reading of stage directions and dance interludes, while energetically executed, at times felt out of sync with the overall tone of the show, proving slightly distracting from the narrative flow. Moreover, the writing had some inconsistencies in logic, cringe-worthy moments, and occasional confusion.
The true strength of SuperYou emerged from its eclectic musical score, drawing inspiration from an array of genres including pop, hip hop, swing, blues, gospel, country, and soulful power ballads. This diverse musical tapestry not only entertained but also served as a powerful reflection, illuminating the idea that the act of creating can manifest in various forms and genres. SuperYou's soundtrack became a testament to the boundless possibilities within the realm of creativity, showcasing the beauty of embracing different artistic expressions. Backed by a dynamic six-piece band, including Lane herself, the music, under the direction of Wendy Bobbitt Cavett, offered surprising complexity and refreshing diversity.
The standout performance of the evening undoubtedly belonged to Lucie Jones, whose vocal range and emotional delivery were nothing short of breathtaking. From soulful ballads to playful duets, Jones effortlessly stole the show, proving that no genre is too challenging for her. A special mention is deservedly extended to Ayton-Kent, Ballard, and O’Leary, as each performer had moments to shine, showcasing their undeniable vocal talent and dynamic range. Furthermore, their characters played a pivotal role in driving the message to believe in ourselves, adding depth and resonance to the production.
SuperYou the Musical stands out as one of the most empowering concerts of the year. At its core, it is an inspirational and timely production, inviting us to discover our own superpowers and unleash the hero residing within ourselves. It delivers a message of believing in oneself in the midst of life's chaos, serving as a poignant reminder that each one of us is capable of overcoming adversity and embracing our unique strengths. The central message “don't wait, create” echoes not only in the world of art but also in our collective responsibility to be catalysts for positive change. As the final notes echoed in the Lyric Theatre, the audience was left not only entertained but also inspired to embrace their own power to create a better world.
AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Matt Martin and Simona Sermont for Shooting Theatre