Review of The State of Things – 4 Stars

State of Things thespyinthestalls

The State of Things

Jack Studio Theatre

Reviewed – 13th September 2017





“a vibrant and highly amusing new British musical”


Brockley Jack Studio Theatre in South East London is currently hosting the premiere of “The State of Things” by Thomas Attwood & Elliot Clay. This intimate venue is a fantastic backdrop for this vibrant and highly amusing new British musical.

The show is set in the music room of a state school that has recently been given academy status. The first scene opens with seven students coming together to practise for their upcoming GCSE performance. The characters make unlikely friends but their love and passion for music helps them to form deep bonds.

The school is functioning under an era of austerity and the students learn that music funding is being cut and they will no longer be able to continue their musical journey at the school. Their passion takes them on a campaigning journey using social media to try and influence the head and their local MP to try and reverse the decision and secure their future.

The writing is excellent – the dialogue is perfectly suited to a group of teenagers. The play offers the right mixture of humour and poignancy making the characters incredibly believable. You are quickly drawn in to the story and hope that they will succeed with their crusade.

The acting is all of a high quality with Hana Stewart giving a stand out performance as Ruth. As she battles to keep her home and school life afloat you really feel her pain and frustrations. Nell Hardy as Kat made me want to rush home and sign up for viola lessons! The actors deliver their lines with great timing and are clearly musically talented.

The lyrics by Elliot Clay (who also takes the role of Adam) are original and beautifully written particularly “Maggie” and the “State of Things”.

The play runs for 90 minutes without an interval. This could easily be extended so the characters could be further developed and given greater depth. The show is highly enjoyable and I left with a warm feeling but also felt that I wanted to know more about the individuals.


Reviewed by Angela East

Photography by Headshot Toby



is at Brockley Jack Studio Theatre until 23rd September

Click here to see a list of the latest reviews on