Comic tale could prove to be just the therapy

Preview by Paul Nelson

KENNETH Branagh is the key supporter of a new theatre company from Northern Ireland, Plug Productions. The company's first production, Have a Nice Life, is a witty and fresh new musical about group therapy and it receives its London Premiere at the Pleasance Theatre on May 29 at 7.30pm.

Written by award-winning local composer, Conor Mitchell, Have a Nice Life charts the comic misfortunes of seven twenty-somethings in therapy. Two hours of original script and music catapult the audience through the very best and freshest Northern Irish exportable wit.

Hot on the heels of 'therapy culture', Have a Nice Life is a sideways look at the 'prozacnation' of the new century. Is there life after Lithium? This is musical theatre at its best, new, vibrant and re-defining the lines. Have you had a nice life?

Plug Productions are Ulster's newest, freshest voice in theatre and in only one year they have established themselves as the leading new lights in 'new musical theatre writing' from a region that is practically unknown for the genre.

Northern Ireland is on the up and is once again rising from the wake of 30 years of violence, Plug Productions are a bunch of musical theatre performers who are responding to this in the only way they can by laughing.

Plug Production's Patron, Kenneth Branagh, says: "Plug Production's first original musical has brought this young company to the attention of many leading lights in the theatre world and now they have been offered the chance to show off their home-grown talents in London."

Plug Productions are premiering Have a Nice Life just as the German language version opens in Berlin with the University of Arts, winner in 2001 of the Isle Niggemann Award for concept in musical theatre training.

Conor Mitchell is one of the freshest voices in musical theatre. Have a Nice Life is the 25-year-old's first full scale musical. He works exclusively in Ireland and composes for the National Youth Music Theatre. Recent work includes The Children of Lir, Almost Human, Grandad's Bubble, Medea A Sex War Opera and House Taken Over.

Plug Productions present Have a Nice Life, Directed by Conor Mitchell, WITH: Chris Robinson, Mary Moulds, Rachel Murray, Emma Little, Karen Rush, and Joe Rea. The Pleasance Theatre, 28 May 22 June. Tuesdays - Saturdays 7.30pm, Saturday matinee 4pm, Sundays 5.30pm. Tickets 020 7609 1800 www.pleasance.co.uk

RELATED LINKS: Click here for The Pleasance website...