To say that this past year and a bit have been tough would be the understatement of the century! People have lost loved ones, families have been split apart and loneliness/mental health issues are at an all-time high. I personally struggled with the fact that I couldn’t just pop out and see my friends/family and it is clear that many people felt the same way. During the first lockdowns, I and all my friends would do weekly quizzes, drinking games or just general chats (usually all of which involved a lot of drinking) and it was nice to see each other and spend time together albeit in physically different locations but still be able to have catch-ups. I know that many people have looked for escapes from everything that is currently going on globally which included things such as drinking, watching movies or (more importantly for this review) playing video games. Due to how stressful everything has been people have been looking for a bit of escapism from modern life and spending a few hours in a fictional world (via video games) was not only one of the only things we were allowed to do but also an entertaining way to forget about everything that is going on. Luckily for us in the UK we seem to be on the end stages of the lockdowns but due to the amount of time spent playing games have developed an obsession with games such as Minecraft!
Blueprint is a new musical that follows the life of four university students who all face a plethora of issues and life struggles who come together. They all feel as if they are not in control of their own lives and the only way they can be is by playing an online VR (virtual reality) game. I don’t have a lot of experience with VR as a method of playing games, but I can tell that the immersive experience can be all-consuming but also offer a sense of control that many people (especially today) crave. I have played games such as Sims and my craft before and have spent endless hours without realising so I can only imagine how much worse this would be in VR! The show captures the energy and awkwardness that university students are known for while also offer a possible outlet to deal with these incredibly high-stress situations.
There are only seven songs in this new recording which means that in total it only covers just under twenty-seven minutes. I have to admit that due to how short the album is, it did leave me wanting more due to how a great many of the tracks were! The opening number which is called “A New Day” was the perfect way to generally open a show but especially this one! Thinking chronologically, a musical is a kind of like a brand new day which occurs at the beginning of the story of the day which is very clever! Additionally, it contains very electronic musical motifs as well as being mysterious enough to draw the audience in. I can imagine the excitement and tension that the audience would feel when this song is played/performed live which essentially is the main purpose for an opening track in a show! The song cleverly builds almost into what I can only describe as a rock spectacular sound and then suddenly draws back again which cleverly creates even more excitement. The song is an extremely powerful song where the performers talk about overcoming the things they have gone through to create a new perfect life while also introducing the background to some of the key characters in the show. It is clear that Matt Copley (who plays Mason in this musical) is a very talented vocalist and is one to keep an eye on! The highlight song for me within this show is the number “Coffee in the morning” which is super fun and catchy number beautifully performed by Matt. This is a much more pop-infused number rather than the classical musical theatre style song we expect from new musicals. I really enjoyed this number and would encourage everyone to give it a listen as I have never heard a love song like this one before! I also really enjoyed the song “VR” as it had all the electronic, energetic vibes that we would expect from a song that has this title. This show portrays the angst and energy that university students are known for while also portray the futuristic capabilities that VR possesses! All the voices within this song work beautifully together and create a somewhat moving performance!
Overall, this is a fun and energetic musical that is one that I would love to see when it is performed live! The show showcases Matt and his amazing vocal abilities while also portraying university life accurately. I would rate this musical 4 out of 5 stars!