Rehab The Musical ★★★ The Playground Theatre | September 1 - 17, 2022


After being set up in a drugs exposé, Kid Pop (Jonny Labey) is given the choice between jail time or six months in rehab. Convinced that the latter is the easy alternative, the rock star opts to spend his time at The Glade. At that residence he meets a variety of individuals who are broken by various addictions, and he gradually moves from an arrogant dismissal of both his, and their, issues to a recognition of the possibility of leading a healthy life of self-acceptance. Along the way, he encounters love in the form of Lucy (Gloria Onitiri) and learns of the perfidy of his publicist Malcolm Stone (Keith Allen). The reformation story has a comforting familiarity and it plays out much as might be expected. The show has some good tunes and we particularly liked "Two Broken People" and the haunting "Museum Of Loss" which was beautifully rendered by Onitiri. Another standout was "Die At Twenty Seven And You'll Live Forever" performed by Jodie Steele. As Stone's assistant, Beth, Steele radiated an unflappable malevolence and for us, she gave the performance of the evening. Jonny Labey did a fine turn as the egotistical rocker, but his transition to a nice guy seemed rather precipitous and inadequately prepared for. The other 'guests' of The Glade were well played, but with the exception of Phil Sealey's character, Phil Newman, they all seemed rather one-dimensional. The attempt to inject some humour into the proceedings with "The Cheese Song" also seemed to fall rather flat. Rehab The Musical has an uplifting story with some touching and lighter moments, but it still seems like a work in progress.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Mark Senior.

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