A brave and ambitious production, that tells the story of five young people, whose lives are linked via The Ealing Club in the early 1960s but with too many interconnecting plots it becomes a confusing journey of those first few years.
From issues of the day and how society reacted to them such as inter racial relationships and campaigning against war, the production is strewn with music of the era and references and scenes to not just The Ealing Club, but also Lyons ice cream factory in Greenford and Marshall Amps in Hanwell.
Is it meant to be a drama or a musical drama? Sadly, while the actors give their best, the confusion between storytelling and singing means neither delivers. The cast is let down by a script that doesn’t deliver, and so despite their best efforts, it comes across as a confusing tale, not knowing what direction it is going in or what it really is about.
At times there is so much going on that storylines seem disjointed and watching The Ealing Club becomes a dizzying experience.
At just under an hour, it packs in too much, including a very random news announcement scene about the 1963 assassination of US President John F Kennedy.
And that is the main issue. There is too much going on with too many subplots relating to geopolitics and the wider world and not enough about the actual Ealing Club itself.
As a piece of musical drama, it needs less subplots and more of a focus without getting carried away in covering just about every issue that impacted the early 1960s.
The Ealing Club Is a well meaning effort. Less going on would have made this more compelling along along with more scenes set in and around the club.
There is a story to be told about those who went to The Ealing Club and their lives but this production isn’t it.