There’s nothing better than watching something brand new and feeling excited because you know that you are bearing witnessing to something very special. And that’s exactly what KIN The Musical instilled within me.

Last week in a packed-out disused factory in Hitchin, KIN was staged in full for the first time. It’s previously had sold-out concert productions at The Other Palace, and has amassed over 1 million views on Tik Tok. But this was the first time it had been seen in all its fully staged glory.

With a book written by Emil Dale, the musical is set in 1980s small town America, and focuses on Noah as he joins the KIN – a controversial community attracting people from all over the world that want to live in a more free and accepting society. The show is elevated with Stefan Kelk’s music and lyrics, which are wonderfully varied amd hook you throughout.

Using traverse staging, the audience are seated around a catwalk shaped stage. The stage has a revolve in the middle of it, and there are platforms on stage with the musicians upon them. Beautiful lighting design sets the scenes throughout. Due to the nature of the staging, some of the scene changes were slightly clunky and long, however this could be remedied easily in the future.

There are absolutely no weak links within this cast, each member is extremely talented and brings something different to the show. Sophie-Rose Middleton playing Cora brought powerhouse vocals and oozed charisma and likeability in her performance. Playing the lead role of Noah was Alex James-Hatton, who is an equal match for Middleton’s powerhouse, with a slight raspy tone to his vocals. In one of the solo numbers for James-Hatton there were drums playing, and I worried slightly for his cords as he had to project his voice during this. Hopefully with some tweaks in staging this could be avoided in the future. James-Hatton is the standout of the show, providing a performance packed full of emotion which will leave you with chills. Also worth a mention is Olivia Hallett who provided comic relief in her performance as Marge, which included a delightfully funny number about hoarding.

The first act was definitely stronger than the second, as a couple of the musical numbers in the second act felt slightly random – as if they’d been slotted in without reason. And didn’t really have a relevance to the storyline itself.

The absolute best thing about this show is the music, with clear influences from rock, country and pop music the score is wonderfully varied and incorporates catchy numbers and slower ballads. There were some dreamy riffs on the acoustic guitar, and music that was impossible not to bop along too. Of all the new musicals I’ve watched this year, this has the best score – and one that I would immediately buy the album of. The musical aspects of this production are polished to perfection and heighten the emotional responses to the show. Arran Anzani-Jones’ choreography is high energy throughout and brings the show together to give the full impact.

Expect a great story, insanely good music and mesmerising performances. ‘I Promise You’ and ‘What I’m Made Of’ are guaranteed to blow you away. This show was polished and fully realised which impressed me so much considering it’s a brand new musical. Yes there are still some tweaks and fine tuning required but KIN has excited me so much, and I can’t wait to see how it progresses next, hopefully it comes back soon and will be even bigger. One of the most polished new musicals I’ve seen this year!

Rating: 4 out of 5.


{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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