Written and directed by Garth Jennings, Son of Rambow is a hilarious 2007 comedy film that received critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival. This year, Nuffield Southampton Theatre in association with The Other Palace are bringing this delightful cult film to the stage in a new musical adaption with music by Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler and a book by Richard March.
Son of Rambow The Musical follows Will Proudfoot who is a shy 11-year-old boy and comes from a family that belongs to the strict Plymouth Brethren church who forbids it’s congregation from watching films or television. He meets school trouble-maker Lee Carter accidently sees a pirated version of Rambo: First Blood and the unlikely pair set out to make a sequel- Son Of Rambow!
Meanwhile a group of French student exchange students descend upon the school and everyone falls in love with bad-boy sexpot, Didier.
Armed with a big video camera, the boy’s movie changes the lives of all around them. Will’s recently-widowed mum, Sarah, begins to question her faith as family friend Joshua confesses his love for her. Lee’s brother Barry fights for the love of his girlfriend Tina, who must choose between Barry, university or French exchange student, Didier.
As the boys continue making their masterpiece, Didier and the French exchange students get involved and the film becomes more about Will’s struggles with his faith and family friend Joshua. As a result Lee Carter and Will fall out and Will finishes the film by himself. He eventually shows the film at a school assembly as a way to reconcile his friendship with Lee Carter and Sarah finally finds out what the boys have been up to and realises that her son must be allowed to be himself and her family leaves the Brethren.
Miranda Cooper’s songs have spent more years on the UK chart than any other female song writer. She’s written for Alesha Dixon, Kylie Minogue and Gabrielle Cilmi, penning four number one hits Round Round, Sound Of The Underground, Hole In The Head and The Promise. Coopers written a fun original 80s-esque score for Son Of Rambow, matching the period in which the musical is set.
The Other Palace is quickly building a name for itself as the home of new musical theatre and it’s workshop of Son of Rambow The Musical adds to this cannon of work. Son Of Rambow is an uplifting and heart-warming film so I can understand the appeal of adapting it into a musical and am excited to see the future of the musical after it’s this workshop production.