Nexus Arts
Until 14 Mar 2020

Review by Anthony Vawser

It’s rare for a ‘rock musical’ to not only be based around a serious historical subject but also prepared to approach it in a relatively sincere fashion.

“Atomic” succeeds very well on its own terms, as a look back at what was a pivotal point in modern world events: namely, the lead-up to creation, and implementation, of the first atomic bomb, set to devastate the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, forever altering the face of warfare.

Platform Productions/Academy has assembled a youthful cast, led by the charismatic Jai Pearce in the central role of brilliant physicist Leo Szilard. Lead voices in this musical are strong, while the entire ensemble blends and harmonises with each other in stirring fashion. The pre-recorded back-up utilised here is entirely adequate and does not feel like a compromise.

Some of the featured songs (by Philip Foxman and show creator/scripter Danny Ginges) are broader and blunter than others in this show; while that can work to enhance the drama, it can also feel borderline-clunky at times. On balance, the music both reinforces the message of the show and adds just enough to the emotionalism.

The team at Platform have delivered a solidly satisfying show that displays a good deal of energy, empathy, and theatrical skill (barring an occasional messy scene transition). It’s especially encouraging to witness this group improve so noticeably over their 2019 Fringe effort, “Connected”. One is keen to see what they might come up with next year.

Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)