Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Pitched somewhere between gig theatre and jukebox musical, Battery Park traces the rise and fall of a fictional Britpop band, who form in the Clyde coastal town of Greenock and aspire to make it all the way to headline Glasgow’s legendary Barrowland ballroom. If there is any real-life inspiration to the eponymous outfit, it comes from playwright Andy McGregor’s experiences in his own provincial indie band Blind Pew, nearly-rans from the late Noughties.
The plot, however, could have been culled from any rock biopic – a band of brothers/childhood chums, encouraged by a local cub reporter/girlfriend, emerge as rising stars when they recruit charismatic singer Robyn. She’s the catalyst for success but the band is founded on the songwriting of earnest Tommy and the guitar wizardry of his brother Ed, the loose cannon whose rock’n’roll excess ultimately sabotages their prospects.
This standard story of coulda-been-contenders is told in hindsight by an older version of Tommy, engaging with the bottom of a beer bottle and an American student who appears strangely familiar with Battery Park’s oeuvre, adding a soapy layer to an already clichéd tale.
The plot may go exactly where you might imagine but there is a cub energy onstage thanks to the tight performance of a batch of original songs, written by McGregor, which effectively pastiche the moderately catchy sound of a second generation sub-Oasis Britpop band – faint praise musically but just the ticket to lend credibility to a universal tale of dreams stoked, thwarted, then somewhat rekindled through the cosy lens of nostalgia.
Dundee Rep, Dundee – 3rd
The Gaiety, Ayr – 7th
Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock – 10th, 11th
Byre Theatre, St Andrews – 13th
Perth Theatre, Perth – 14th
Cumbernauld Theatre at Lanternhouse, Cumbernauld – 17th
Howden Park Centre, Livingston – 19th
CatStrand, New Galloway – 21st
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh – 26th, 27th
Eden Court, Inverness – 29th