A thought-provoking new UCLan comedy musical 'Urinetown' is currently open to the public

The cast is entirely made up of second year musical theatre students at the university.

By Aimee Seddon
Thursday, 13th January 2022, 4:07 pm

This week, musical theatre students at the University of Central Lancashire are bringing a quirky, thought provoking musical to St Peter's Arts Centre on their Preston campus.

Open to the public, 'Urinetown: The Musical' is a satirical comedy musical being presented by BA (Hons) Music Theatre 2nd Year students, in arrangement with Music Theatre International, one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies.

Set in the not so distant future, the play depicts an over-populated world where water is scarce, and private toilets are banned, with people having to pay to use the few public toilets- something which the protagonist, Bobby, decides is unfair, and encourages him to start a revolution to try and free everyone from living in this dystopian world of having to pay for a human right.

BA (Hons) Music Theatre 2nd Year students present Urinetown: The Musical, at St Peter's Arts Centre, Preston. All pictures by www.nickfairhurstphotographer.com

19 year old student Brandon Levers from Rotherham, one of the show’s marketing team, said: "There's definitely a message behind it. The idea for the story comes from a 17th century economist called Thomas Robert Malthus who proposed that the world would eventually become too populated to be able to support everyone and their human rights.

"So throughout the story, the narrator tries to tell the audience that they need to change their way of life in order to keep the privileges we have, so be more careful about how much water we all consume because eventually it could all dry up, and it all comes down to being more careful with resources generally, but it's definitely fun, it's not a very serious story, it's got love, and you see lots of character's development, and the power of music."

The show, which has a 'toilet humour' warning, started yesterday but will be running until Saturday night, with full price tickets costing only £12 and concession tickets (for the unwaged and students) only £6.

Most of the production work was done by the UCLan students, overseen by their tutors, and there are two casts who are performing alternate shows- each named after theatre practitioners, Weill and Brecht respectively.

First premiering in 2001, the music for Urinetown was written by Mark Hollman, with lyrics by Hollman and Greg Kotis, but UCLan's adaption is directed by Course Leader Mark Goggins, with Dave Dossett as Musical Director and Emma Kay as choreographer.

Brandon, who plays Officer Lockstock, the story's narrator, in the Weill cast, added: "It's a really interesting story and one of the best musicals that I have ever performed in, as it is for most of the cast. When we heard the play's name we knew it would be interesting but when we read the script we all fell in love with it.

"We have all worked tremendously hard and we think people will really enjoy it."

You can find out more about showing times and buy your tickets here.

The musical is set in a not so distant dystopian future- where water is scarce and a revolution starts over toilet rights...
Ticket information can be found at: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/preston/st-peters-arts-centre/urinetown/e-omapdd