Youth Music Theatre brings Le Tabou to Barbican Theatre, Plymouth
HERE'S one for your "to do is to be" list: an existential extravaganza.
But if you are more into music than musing, relax.
It's party time, too, at the Barbican Theatre next weekend.
The invite is out to join Youth Music Theatre UK for the premiere of Le Tabou, a knees-up inspired by Boris Vian.
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The writer, jazzman, actor, engineer, translator and inventor still found time to mix with fellow heavyweight intellectuals Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre.
Sartre mixed so close that he had an affair with Vian's wife, Michelle.
Well, they were all French and the only thing that was taboo in the so-cool-it-ached Paris of the mid-20th century was the name of the jazz club in which Vian played trumpet, hence the title of the show.
We're promised an exciting new piece of music theatre, an extravagant party that will bounce off the walls with the unlikely combination of vitality and poise.
The piece is loosely based on Vian's L'Ecume du Jours, which translates as Scum Of The Days but was published in English as The Froth Of The Daydream.
Ironically, he had much greater success in his lifetime with his decidedly lower-brow bizarre parodies of the crime genre, under the pen name Vernon Sullivan.
The vibrant bunch at Youth Music Theatre (YMT) UK are just the people to bring the words of Vian and that free-spirited era to life.
YMT, blessed by Arts Council England and the Department for Education, is the country's national music theatre company for young people.
It offers training and mentoring for those aged 11-21 to get into the business on stage of behind the scenes.
The company also specialises in creating new work.
The cast of Le Tabou is selected from 350 who got through auditions on a workshop tour of the UK this spring.
The one who is closest to home is Tamsin Lynes from Totnes.
The performers will be supported by a team of West End professionals.
If they do go on to make a career in showbiz, they'll be in good company.
Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, Channel 4 Fresh Meat's Charlotte Ritchie and Freya Wilson, who was Princess Elizabeth in The King's Speech and played Violette Selfridge in the ITV drama Mr Selfridge, were all members of YMT.
Le Tabou is at the Barbican Theatre next Friday and Saturday.