Morale Is High (Since We Gave Up Hope)

Alright everyone, can we just take a moment to stand up and cheer? This is my first theatre blog post since moving to Manchester! YAAAAY!

Okay you can sit back down. Just before Christmas I received an email from a theatre company called Powder Keg. They are from Manchester and they had a new show called Morale Is High (Since We Gave Up Hope), which they asked me to come along and review. I punched the air with a grin on my face and said yes. I was also thrilled to learn that my beloved Theatre Deli back in the steel city had helped produce this play.

I really got into seeing plays and theatre productions in Sheffield, and it’s something I definitely wanted to pick back up after I’d settled into Manc life a bit. I took my housemate along not really knowing what to expect but feeling certain that if Moor Deli had a hand in it, it would be good.

We picked up our tickets at HOME (after a very delicious and satisfying meal), then walked round the corner to the International Anthony Burgess Foundation where the show took place.

With the seats arranged in a U shape and two guitars waiting expectantly I felt sure we were in a fun and entertaining evening – in fact, that’s the word my housemate used to describe it afterwards, ‘entertaining’.

The guys from Powder Keg used a mix of song, storytelling, props and sometimes dance to tackle a very relevant issue: after the last few years, and particularly after 2016, what will the future hold? Will we be okay?

I loved how they delivered this play. Tapping into our fears, but also giving us hope (ironic considering the name). It was fast paced without being too fast, and slow without dragging. The music was fantastic too, and had me tapping my feet at every song.

My favourite story from the show was the one about Lindsey, who likes making lists. A sad ending, but a story that didn’t really feel that far off into the future.

I’m very grateful to Powder Keg for inviting me along and feel keen to see some more local shows soon. I’ve said before that one of the reasons I love theatre is because it’s a good way to tackle difficult or uncomfortable topics, and Morale Is High achieved this well.

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