To a background of skunk, smack, mugging, robbing, and cartoon hard core domestic violence, Innit is every patronising politician's nightmare coming out to play…and spitting the answer back in their face. Poverty. All dancing, all singing, loved up, pissed up, tooled up poverty. And what a top time it has.
The first thing that hits is the set – a huge window lit tower block in the background, complete with a genuine reproduction of the Salford Chippy. In the foreground graffiti/barbed wire soaked corrugated iron walls give a spiky flava of what's coming. And onto the stage spring a gang of hoodies rapping out Welcome To Salford with crashing, trashing bin lids…It wins the audience over. Instantly. And throughout the first half of this top production the pace never slows, highlighted by a wickedly funny karaoke scene starring rock hard Salford girls giving it loads.
The musical weaves around the relationship between Ashley and Stacey – he's from a home so broken he's in bits, she's escaped the estates and lives in posh Chorlton. Will Ashley toe the line, wear the suit and crawl to the corporate wankers? Or will he follow the gang and go for the easy dollar of `robbin' all day and getting off your tits'? He goes robbing, gets caught and sent down...cue the audience singing along to `Oh we're all on our way to the slammer...'
The second half of Innit takes place almost exclusively in prison, the pace slows and the slammer's claustrophobia sets in, punctuated by dancing guards and chorus line, pool cue spinning inmates.
Ashley eventually gets out, and sets himself free from his background. It's the story of his redemption. But done in a totally Salford way with a brilliant cast who are wise to the city.
Innit:Urban Musical is Oliver meets Jailhouse Rock meets Blood Brothers meets West Side Story…and then gets twatted somewhere down Salford Precinct.
This short run at The Lowry (Jan 27th-31st) was the second time Innit has been showcased and well approved in the city…now surely it deserves to hit the West End and beyond. It's got everything – the songs, the script, the story…and most of all, SALFORD.