America is a huge country and even if you decide to journey across it you might fail to notice the people within this vast land. See Rock City (and – apparently – Other Destinations) considers the non-tourists at these destinations and why they might be there.
A drifter (Alex Lodge) and a waitress he picked up en route (Nancy Sullivan) drive to see Rock City; three sisters bid farewell to their father at Glacier Bay; two truanting schoolboys take a trip to Coney Island.
The overture sets this show up to be rousing and entertaining, yet none of the other musical numbers live up to expectations. The stories that are told fail to make any sense and have no real connection to each other apart from the creepy, nonsensical ‘tour guide’ (Ricky Johnston). He lurks on the stage watching and waiting for no apparent reason until he takes his moment at the end to ruin (or perhaps save) a young woman’s life.
The first two characters Dodi and Jess are strong and interesting, so it’s a shame that their story never goes anywhere. It’s also unclear that there’s a change in location for each story – for all we know it could all be set in Rock City.
It’s sad that there is almost a complete lack of plot, because the cast is a strong and enthusiastic one. Richard Dawes stands out as confused schoolboy Cutter and Georgia Permutt is suitably sweet and resigned as the devoted granddaughter sharing an annual pilgrimage to The Alamo with her Grampy (Neil Stewart). The trio of sisters perform their song ‘Three Fair Queens’ well, and although it feels like a poor man’s version of ‘Three Little Maids from School’ their acting is surprisingly convincing.
See Rock City is described as a show about missed connections and viewers of this show will relate to that because they’ll miss any possible connection between any of the characters. Sadly the story, songs and characters of See Rock City fail to leave an impression and instead leave the audience confused and disappointed.
Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes
See Rock City & Other Destinations is playing at the Union Theatre until 30th August 2014