Under the Ground, by Katie Barnett and Megan Hughes of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, profiles travellers on the Glasgow Subway connected by their isolation. At the core of this new musical is a young woman mourning the passing of her father, replaying a nostalgic message of condolence left on her phone in an effort to alleviate her grief. Then there are the strangers who find comfort in each other, and the mistaken marriage proposal that manages to unify the carriage as they snap the awkward moment on their camera phones.
The script has a situation comedy feel, but the songs really fly. There's a High School Musical-style vitality here, the young cast working well together and presenting a series of uplifting moments throughout the show. The solos, however, aren't as strong as the ensemble numbers, and are often too tightly wrapped up in plot to make much of an impact on the overall feel of the production.
More theatre should be set on the subway. It's a place we'd rather not be, but most us have a least a few fond memories of the time we've spent under ground, a feeling this show neatly captures with the line, "I will never have another moment with you, ever again". A charming musical about one of life's most incidentally romantic places.