EDINBURGH 2014 - BWW Reviews: UCAS, Greenside @ Nicolson, August 13 2014
UCAS is a new musical based on the university application process. We begin with a very optimistic teacher who has been selected to help students who haven't yet finished their personal statements for their UCAS forms. She opens with a song about her own university education which led her to become a teacher.
Then the pupils enter and it becomes clear that this is some sort of punishment. One girl declares that she chose this session instead of detention. The teacher tries to get the students to open up and talk about their personal lives and they reveal their reluctance to go to university. One boy doesn't want to leave his girlfriend. Another is worried about the level of debt they will accrue. A couple would rather have a gap year while they figure out what they want to do with their lives.
Some very real problems are addressed, whether it is worth getting into all this debt and potentially not getting a job at the end of it. They also talk about how university maybe isn't right for everyone and going because your family have expectations isn't the best reason to do it.
The music in UCAS is excellent, high energy almost Fame-esque songs with excellent choreography. It is a fresh and exciting piece of new writing and I would be hard pushed to fault it. I could see it as a longer piece as we don't see some of the characters in as much depth as I would have liked and I feel like it has the potential to expand.
UCAS runs at Greenside @ Nicolson until August 23rd.