What is The Inevitable Quiet of the Crash, anyway? After Alex falls into the path of an oncoming tube train, three women in his life deal with his death at any volume but quiet: belting and screaming, clawing at answers. This original musical showcases a promising capability for composition but distracts from its central theme of grief and loss.
There’s clear talent in the production. Ellen Timothy’s Julia is a rich-voiced aging actress who lives in her past to avoid ever confronting her son’s birth, let alone his untimely death. Her character feels more developed than Alex’s fiancée Sally and lover Anna. Emilie Finch plays the naïvety of Anna ably but her voice still has a school choir quality to it which unfortunately cannot hold its own against the band.
Musically, the show feels in conflict with itself: contemporary piano melodies hark back to Lloyd Webber and Sondheim, making Chris Cottell’s drumming solo discordant. There are several repetitions of phrases throughout the score, meaning songs bleed into one another. It’s a shame after such a strong opener as ‘Yesterday’, which carries the narrative neatly – and only makes the spoken exposition feel the more heavy-handed. Katie Hale’s script is well paced but falls short of its poetic ambition. Overall, the parts never pull together into something which feels like true insight into the characters’ sadness.