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The life, loves and woes of the Tinder generation laid bare in new musical

PUBLISHED: 10:30 30 September 2016

Kate Batter and James Robinson in This Little Life of Mine. Picture: Charlie Round-Turner

Kate Batter and James Robinson in This Little Life of Mine. Picture: Charlie Round-Turner

© Charlie JH Round-Turner, 2016. Moral rights asserted.

New musical from Michael Yale explores the fallout when reality bites the age group with too much choice

Dodgy dating apps, eye-watering property prices and infertility rear their heads in a new musical about the frustrations and aspirations of Generation Rent.

Izzy and Jonesy are typical thirtysomething Londoners, renting an overpriced flat in Zone 2, working in the media, meeting friends and worrying they’ll never afford to buy.

But when their desire to have a baby hits a hurdle, the generation who are spoiled for choice discover you can’t always get what you want.

Premiering at The Park theatre’s 90-seat studio space, This Little Life of Mine is a chamber piece for four with piano and cello.

Director and writer Michael Yale says; “It’s a year in the life of a couple in London and all the people in their life. These are the conversations going on around me as I walk out of my front door.

“We’re all busy people chasing our dreams and looking for instant gratification from things; our online posts, careers, and lovers.”

Yale, who co-writes with musician Charlie Round-Turner, says it concerns the pressure of expectations, worry of underachieving – and the gulf between desire and real life.

“Everyone wants the best for themselves a great flat, job, great friends then what? Maybe you can’t get that final piece of the puzzle as easily and what does that do to us. When do things turn into obsession?”

Other contemporary relationships are covered as one of the couple’s friends grows increasingly dissatisfied with searching for Mr Right on Tinder.

Yale who is in his 40s says there are universal themes as well as a timeless love story: “It wasn’t too dissimilar to when I was in my 20s. It’s been around for a while this problem that people have all these choices and high expectations but the reality is often hard.

“The pressure is even more now with social media to feel there is a perfect life out there with wonderful holidays and beautiful families. The reality is they can’t afford to buy and everyone is re writing their history on social media.

“What happens in the gap between the selfie moments and what you put on Facebook when you feel you aren’t doing as well as the rest of the world or there is an issue?”

As a director Yale has been working on lots of classic theatre in recent years and “wanted to do something more contemporary not on a grand scale of battles but no less compelling or funny or moving”.

“It’s very human to yearn for more and to want the best for yourself. There’s a very primal instinct to have a child that can turn into an obsession.”

With a mix of swing, jazz and classic musical theatre tunes, Round-Turner’s score melds beautifully with the story.

“I have always used music in whatever I have created I love the way it touches the soul and spirit and can bypass the intellect and go straight to the heart,” says Yale.

“You can do things with music you can’t with writing.

“I couldn’t have written this story without the songs. The human voice is so moving and touching. It can spotlight someone’s state of mind or inner emotion.”

The production is staged by Stage Traffic a new company co-founded by Yale to stage shows based on strong storytelling that “really speak to and engage an audience”.

This Little Life of Mine runs at Park 90 from October 4-29.

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