On the backdrop of a world in terror at the hands of a devastating disease, a group of teenagers find the first mechanical created with a soul, and organs far stronger than any human's. As they try to give CHASE an experience of life outside the laboratory, conflicts arise and CHASE becomes the government's most wanted for the potential of his make-up to save humanity, but at what cost? 


It's fair to say that the weakest element of this piece is the script itself. Structurally confused with a few significant plot holes throughout, plot twists that feel heavy-handed, and one too many ex-machina moments underpinned by an overload of Gen-Z lingo, what could be a sweet story and exploration of challenging ethics falls short of its potential. Missing, too, is enough build-up to more emotional moments that seem to come all too suddenly and thus don't impact us in the way they should. The songs themselves are not especially memorable, but are performed well by all involved.  


The music (composed by Dax O'Callaghan, also appearing in the title role, and Arj C. Master) sets the tone well for a futuristic story, emphasised by the continued appearance of rap-dialogue that varies in its efficacy. The hip-hop dance style hammers home the idea that we are watching a world of the future, executed very well by the talented dancers in the ensemble.  


Within this largely strong ensemble, Glenn Adamson stands out for his exceptional multi-roling, embodying a range of vivid characters; Sasha Latoya gives the highest quality acting and vocals, with us just left wanting more for her to do. However, the star of the show is Curtis Patrick as Jeffrey, who delivers a truly exquisite comedic performance alongside brilliant moments of adorable sincerity. 


The ensemble and cast come together in as a show-stopping performance of ‘Take the Day', positioned strangely within the show, where one can sense a swell of excitement within the audience at the powerful harmonies overlayed with stunning riffs from Tanesha Moses.  


Once the story is ironed out, and more focus is decided on what is currently too many competing plot points, this show has potential to be a thought-provoking and enjoyable watch.  


Review: Penny Lane