In Everglade Studio [Assembly Box]

In 1974, four musicians lock themselves in an underground recording studio to make a hit album, unaware of a toxic substance in the walls driving them to madness.

Black Bat Productions bring this tense thriller to the claustrophobic surroundings of a shipping container in George Square, decked out perfectly with vintage recording equipment.

The original songs sung throughout sound like they could have come from any chart-topping Americana album of the period; both Alyth Ross and Hannah Omisore’s vocals are superb. Everglade tackles the inequality that remains in the music industry with discomfiting accuracy- money-grabbing manager Clarke (Nathaniel Brimmer-Beller) telling Omisore’s Matilda to tone down the blackness in her songs so that ‘the mums will buy it’ hit particularly hard. Ross as the snooty superstar Skye exudes malice at her new songwriter, and Aveev Isaacson’s Baron barely contains his simmering rage at the primadonna behaviour around him.

Not a moment is wasted in this taut, tense hour. I loved the physical performance as the musicians descend into illness, Matilda’s violent revenge and the clever, sinister use of a very appropriate Hollies track.

In Everglade Studio deserves a much wider audience, and I hope the cast will consider taking it on tour.


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