Describing the the play as “a play that charts the transitions of a country, a music genre and a girl called Nadia, in her summer before uni starts, through the lens of UK Garage”, it seems to be the perfect storyline of capturing the UK’s love for music. A play which combines some elements of your usual garage gig and acting, ‘With A Little Bit Of Luck’ awakens your senses and love for music.
We spoke to Sabrina Mahfouz to speak all about her play which is now available to listen via iPlayer here.
How are the gig and play elements combined?
“I chose some of my favourite classic garage tracks and designed scenes around them – so for example, ‘Summer of Love’ serves as the intro to our main character, as it is the summer and she is in love! Then as things get a bit more on top, ‘Hype Funk’ comes on and in the middle of a rave, of course the title track, ‘With a Little Bit of Luck’ drops – but always in line with the story the narrator is telling the audience at the time.”
Why did you choose to celebrate UK Garage music specifically?
“To me, UKG represents some of the best music in the world and some of the best times in my life! When I began writing this show, around five years ago, I really felt that Garage hadn’t been documented anywhere near as much as other UK genres of music had and I wanted to be part of changing that. If we don’t write our history, then others will do it for us and we won’t like what we see! I was frustrated with the way garage was constantly depicted ‘ironically’, even if it was done with love. Things have changed now and there is more documentation to be found and that is important and brilliant for those who lived through it and those who want to learn about it. Garage has influenced so much of the music being created right now so it deserves a spotlight!”
Garage is a genre that has still lives on to this day, from festivals to nightclubs. Why do you think this is?
”I think it has an uplifting and positive sound to it. Perhaps it is the hopefulness. A lot of the lyrics have hopeful moments and phrases. A lot of ambition and love which I think is quite rare these days to have coupled with an electronic genre that also makes you want to dance.”
The atmosphere in the theatre must be so different to your average play. Do you think this makes it unique?
“Definitely! There is a number of ‘gig theatre’ shows happening now, but I think each one is unique depending on what style of music it incorporates, as music is such an atmosphere setter in itself. At our performances, there’s been a great mix of people who wouldn’t usually go to plays going to it and loving it because they love garage and then the other way round – people who don’t like garage going because they like theatre and they’re willing to go, and then coming out feeling that they’ve got a new appreciation of garage. It’s really nice to be able to do that on both sides.”
Could this be a series of plays e.g. another one celebrating grime music?
“Yes! I would love to do a prologue to it with jungle and drum n bass and a final one with grime, charting the musical histories and some of the same characters as well as new ones – but time and money will tell if we are able to or not! ”
Why did you choose to go onto broadcasting ‘With a Little Bit of Luck’ on radio rather than keeping it to a play?
“BBC 1xtra is always showcasing new work in music and lyricism in innovative ways and so this seemed a brilliant opportunity to reach a wide audience who might not have gone to the theatre for whatever reasons, in every part of the country and to share this celebration of UKG across the generations.”