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It’s a busy Tuesday night for the New Wolsey, as it’s the press night for their brand new original punk musical, Oxy and the Morons. Which has been skilfully created by Paul Sirett (creator of Reasons to be Cheerful, Mods and Rox), Mike Peters (from The Alarm) and Steve Allan Jones.
The story is one that will feel very familiar to many, in one way or another. Andy (or Oxy as he’s affectionately known) goes for a routine check-up at the doctors, only for it to end with a startling diagnosis of Leukaemia. He decides it’s time to cherish the present, and bring the band back together, cranking up the amps like its 1978. His mission is no easy feat though, as it involves twisting arms, healing wounds and putting his family and friendships back together. Can he make it work?
What makes this story great is not only the way it’s cleverly told, mirroring from past to present. It’s also the fact it sensitively but obviously touches on the subject of aging punks, who’s spirits never wither, even in gloomy circumstances. In a finale speech, we are told the ethos of punk is about doing what you want, regardless of what others may think or say. If you’re content, and attempting to do something positive, then that’s punk.
The music is a burst of original songs that are catchy, fast and furious. They are neatly woven into the story, holding the punchy punk spirit that the show promises you. The Oxy and the Morons chant in particular will certainly stay with you.
The cast are certainly talented too, with the “old Oxy” and “new Oxy” – so to speak. There wasn’t a weak link to be found, and I highly commend them all for their boundless energy and fire. With an authentically 70’s design in the costumes and set to match, it makes you wish your were part of their crew.
Overall, this show is an affectionate look back on the days when spirits were high, and the music was loud! I think it’s the perfect love letter to wild times of the 70’s. Whether an old punk, a new punk or merely a combined music and theatre fan; this show definitely strikes a chord, as the standing ovation proved. Grab a ticket, switch off from reality, and let the music do the talking…
A notable mention is also due to the Love Hope Strength Foundation, curated by Mike Peters after his own experiences, who are doing great work in supporting leukaemia and cancer sufferers, survivors and their families as well as recruiting potential donors to the organ and bone marrow registers. In which its so easy to do, you can even do so post-show in the foyer! It was great to see so many feeling inspired and signing up.
Oxy and the Morons runs at the New Wolsey Theatre until Saturday 21st October. For more information or to book www.wolseytheatre.co.uk.