The world premiere of Joe Penhall's play Mood Music stars Tony-nominee Ben Chaplin (Apple Tree Yard).
‘Music is medication. The elixir of life. It’s for injecting into the blood stream to take away the pain… to promote euphoria… to adrenalise us and give us courage and fortitude.’
In an expensive London recording studio two songwriters, their lawyers and their psychotherapists go to battle over music.
‘I’m not saying he’s a sociopath. I’m just saying you find a lot of damaged people are drawn to the music industry. Lack of empathy, raging narcissism, grandiose egocentricity is expected of them.’
From the writer of Sunny Afternoon and Blue/Orange, Mood Music is a play exploring the drama and the psychodrama of making music, directed by Roger Michell.
So pleased that I managed to see Mood Music before it finished at The Old Vic. Great script and superb acting by all the cast.
I came mainly to see Jemma Redgrave as she is a wonderful actress but the rest of the cast were fantastic too. They even took time out of their busy day to sign autographs. Which i appreciated so much. I saw the play twice in one day.
An incisive, witty examination of the personal politics of the music business seen through the interaction of a cocky producer, a naive young singer and their respective counsellors and lawyers. The most telling line is one about damaged people being attracted to the music industry. Only the part where one person refuses song writing credit and shedloads of royalties on a matter of principle didn't ring true. Having worked as a music journalist for many years I have to say 'principle' is something I didn't encounter often. My companion disagreed, so maybe I'm a cynical old sod.
This is a play where none of the characters emerge glowing. Wearing its ideological credentials on its sleeve, nonetheless all of the goodies & baddies show their vulnerabilities so that the audience goes out into the night considering whether everyone was a winner or a loser.
Enjoyable production cleverly written.
I had not seen any reviews of this show beforehand and did not know what to expect at all. It was therefore a delight to come across something so original and entertaining. Great performances all round.
This play was brilliant with absolutely incredible talent!
We are in the music industry and being a female in a mans world is tough. thought the play got that across brilliantly
Entertaining and thoughtful
It was the best play I have seen in long time. Very well written and the cast were superb. We had many laugh out loud moments. It's a must watch.
A balanced, satirical view of the music industry from so many different perspectives. An intellectual presentation.
Captivated by originality of the multi-layered dialogue and outstanding performance, I have only praise for Mood Music. I'm a psychotherapist and found the characters portrayed were disturbingly realistic; the dialogue equally reflective of what could unfold in treatment. Bravo!
What a thought provoking and excellent play. All the cast executed their parts perfectly and kept the momentum of conversation going on the stage. A must see.
The idea for the play was very interesting, I have not seen many plays that focus on such a relatively limited story and whilst it made it easy to follow and relevant to our times, unlike most modern plays, it caused the play to seem quite boring as not many events actually happened and so it felt to drag on. The way in which the play was performed was incredibley unique as no other play I’ve seen has told a story whilst overlapping different conversations and different times from different people. This did seem to keep the story going despite not much actually happening, the dialogue kept the story alive and nice to follow and listen to, however this did make it quite confusing at points to follow what was going on, who was talking to who and what time was what happening and such. The actors performed the material very well and I do not feel they could have done much better, other than showing a bit more emotion. The characters made were very interesting and made the dialogue intersting and comical at times.
Ben Chaplin carries this play with a well observed portrayal of an unpleasant music producer. The device of having two therapists and two lawyers to prompt the feelings of the two lead characters makes for a very wordy play . What is missing is music .The employment of composer David Arnold is wasted . The playwright presents a cynical view of the music business and we don't really understand why the lead character, played by Chaplin, has been so successful , let alone how he managed to get to work with jazz great Sonny Rollins !. Overall, a disappointment .
Ben Chaplin was marvellous in his role, the girl playing Cat not quite so good and couldn't always catch what she was saying, very much enjoyed the multiple dialogues on stage with the lawyers and psychotherapists. The plot was rather open ended and lacked a bit of structure at the end. Overall a great production well worth seeing.
Deep and funny!
Excellent performances by all actors. Their portrayals eminently believable. 3.5*, ending could be more specific.
Mood Music was outstanding. The acting was on point. Jemma Redgrave was superb as was Seanna. As much as I wanted to hate Ben Chaplins character he was great! A great show!! Go see it. Very very thought provoking.
Having seeing, Sunny Afternoon, knew we would be in for a treat and was not disappointed. Interesting and thought provoking. Performances by everyone was brilliant, Thank you for such an enjoyable theatre experience, Regards, Denise Cooke
Sean Kerslake steals the show. She is terrific. But the show suffers from never getting out of the first act. It feels like there is very little plot development. The thing that does eventually spur some momentum at the end could have been given more presence but ultimately we were left feeling unsatisfied. I reckon theres a great play to be had here but it needs another few drafts to get it there.
No exchanges or refunds after purchase.
2 hours and 5 minutes including a 20 minute interval.
Suitable For Children
Recommended for ages 14+
This production includes some strong language.
Where Do I Go
The Old Vic, The Cut London, SE1 8NB