The Distance You Have Come at the Cockpit Theatre
Written and directed by award-winning New York-based composer Scott Alan, The Distance You Have Come is a musical with dynamism and heart. About coping with life’s trials and tribulations, the piece presents the struggles and hopes of six individuals coming to terms with depression, addiction, domestic abuse, loss and facing them with hope and fortitude. Superb vocals and score create a strong emotive framework in a production that flows seamlessly while touching on difficult subject matter.
The acclaimed performers are vibrant: Alexia Khadime (The Lion King, Wicked, Book of Mormon) shines as Laura, who grapples with depression, self-esteem and her self-concept as an artist. Her moving renditions of Kiss the Air, Now and Say Goodbye are outstanding. Dean John-Wilson (Aladdin, The King and I) is admirable as Joe, an alcoholic who has lost his soul mate. His singing is terrific in numbers such as Again and Quicksand. The ambitious Maisey, struggling in her relationship with an addict, is played convincingly by Emma Hatton (Wicked, Evita, We Will Rock You), whose dazzling vocal style in songs such as I’m a Star and At All adds a unique vivacity to the show. Jodie Jacobs (Little Shop of Horrors, The Wedding Singer, Rock of Ages) is excellent as Anna, a bi-sexual who tries to rise above her bad luck in love – her soulful In His Name and Love and Love, Love are striking. Andy Coxton (Yank!, Hair, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical) and Adrian Hansel (Hairspray, Five Guys Named Moe, Starlight Express) as hopeful Brian and romantic Samuel – a couple and eventual spouses and fathers – are wonderful. Their poignant duet Home is a charmer.
In terms of tempo, the music ebbs and flows like the tides, building up from gentle, tentative pacing to exalted crescendos and back, echoing the fluctuations in our lives. Joyous and upbeat while also thoughtful and wistful, the brilliant lyrics and melodies are emotionally cathartic. Simon Daw’s set is simple and very effective and evocative lighting by Andrew Ellis frames each scene for great emotional impact.
Combining the shot of good-cheer effect of musical theatre with thought-provoking dramatic topics with which all can identify, and a fantastic score, The Distance You Have Come provides an inspiring, heartfelt, fun and entertaining experience.
Photo: Darren Bell
The Distance You Have Come is at the Cockpit Theatre from 16th October until 28th October 2018. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.