ORDINARY DAYS: “A captivating adaptation of the contemporary musical.”★★★★
Ordinary Days, created by Adam Gwon, took to the screens this week when Top Note Arts theatre company filmed their version of the show during lockdown.
Following a successful run of the production in 2014, director Leah Fogo decided to create the show for an online audience this November.
The musical follows four New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs.
Deb (Aimée Horwich) is an overstressed student working on her dissertation but ends up losing her notes in New York City.
Warren (Oliver Jacobson) longs to be an artist who walks the streets of Manhattan admiring graffiti work.
Jason (Matt Concannon) and Claire (Laura Coard) are a couple who recently moved in together but realise they have different perspectives on life.
Scott Staits’ musical direction is well executed with a special mention to Rachel Shakespeare, on the cello, and Tom Evans, on clarinet, whose spectacular musical talent produce a great pace throughout the show.
Laura Coard, playing Claire, uses her impressive vocals to give her songs great emotion and power whilst portraying a believable connection with Matt Concannon, playing Jason.
The pairs on-screen chemistry was a joy to watch, particularly seeing them go through the highs and lows of their relationship.
Aimée Horwich, playing Deb, does an extraordinary job of showing the journey she goes through using her impeccable comic timing and dedication to the character.
Whilst Oliver Jacobson, playing the endearing character of Warren, builds a sweet bond with Horwich as they go through the streets of New York City together.
In the latter part of the show, you can see more variation of camera work and locations used by the actors which would have been lovely to see from the start of the production to give the piece more visual flare.
In particular, ‘Rooftop Duet/Falling’ was a beautifully put together number with the use of split screen editing by Matt Powell, who contributed to multiple seamless video transitions throughout the show.
All four voices blended well together in the ensemble numbers along with accurate positioning of their eyeline when engaging with each other in the songs, which most likely wasn’t easy to do when recording their parts separately.
Leah Fogo, director of Ordinary Days, said this show has been a “lifeline” to them all creating something full of joy in a year that has been so bleak.
“Ordinary Days has always had a special place in my heart as it was the first professional show I directed, and it taught me so much about building characters, telling stories and using space,” she said.
“I am so grateful to the whole team for their hard work and perseverance – creating a show over zoom with the actors filming on their iPhones was no easy feat!”
Leah added that she hopes their show brings a little light into people’s homes – that it makes them laugh, cry a little and “distract them from the outside world”.
If you buy a ticket for Ordinary Days you are in for a real treat, especially if you are missing watching live theatre like many people are at this moment in time.
The virtual production is streaming online until 22 November and tickets can be bought via www.ordinarydays2020.co.uk.