The Local is a new musical inspired by the disappearance of local pubs from towns and villages across the country.
This is the tale of Liz, who has spent her whole career working in pubs, first for her father and now running her own pub in a small town where the locals come to drink and generations mix. She receives a letter informing her that the pub has been sold to developers who plan to convert it into flats. Liz and her regulars start a campaign to save the pub and we follow the story through words and songs.
Liz is joined by her long serving barman who’s worked for her since he left school; the old gentleman who has his own seat at the bar, the local teacher and a group of twenty-somethings. Each character is nicely drawn and they feel familiar to anyone who’s spent time in a local pub. The final character is an experienced campaigner who comes to share her experience to help save the pub.
The cast are all strong singers and build their characters convincingly so the audience feel they are also customers in the pub, watching the action develop. The cast are joined on stage by three talented live musicians providing the music for the cleverly written songs that move the plot along.
My personal highlight was “I love this f***ing pub” sung with feeling by all the characters. This is a tale of a community pulling together in a time of change and a threat to the status quo as well as a presentation of the importance of pubs as a place where communities come together and share space and experiences. This is a tale of endings and new beginnings set to a well written soundtrack.
Reviewed by Rhiannon Evans