I have to admit, before seeing All or Nothing my knowledge of mod culture and music was very limited. I knew about Twiggy, the short dresses and the doll eyes and that was about it. However, after two wonderful hours spent watching the musical, I can now proudly say that I’m absolutely taken by everything that era had to offer and feel nostalgic for days that I haven’t even lived in!
The musical revolves around the journey of band The Small Faces and their lead singer Steve Marriott through the mod music scene to the top of the charts and tells a bittersweet story of love, friendship and ambition. It’s wonderfully human in its essence, showing not only the way up, but also the way down and what lead to it. The characters are funny and witty, but also youthfully foolish and egotistic, which makes the storyline very relatable even now- despite the 50-year time gap.
Carol Harrison, who wrote the play and also plays Steven Marriot’s mother in it is an absolutely amazing storyteller. The play starts at the end, with a scene of Steve smashing his guitar during a live performance and then goes back to the beginning to tell how came to this. And of course, the wonderful music of The Small Faces is performed live all throughout the play by the endlessly talented actors.
If you love mod music and want to immerse yourself in it for a few hours, or if you enjoy discovering new genres and cultures I would absolutely recommend watching All or Nothing at New Theatre Cardiff.
by Stephany Damyanova