Woman in Black - Crewe Lyceum Theatre - frontage - by Jonathan White

Operation Julie, a rock musical about a legendary, almost mythical drugs bust in the 1970’s has landed at The Lyceum this week, writes Claire Faulkner.

Based on a true story about Wales’ biggest ever undercover drugs operation, this fantastic production celebrates the music and culture of the time.

Written and directed by Geinor Styles and presented by Theatr na nÓg and Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Operation Julie is a show which I won’t forget for a very long time.

The production is described as Breaking Bad meets the Good Life, and this is a very apt.

With engaging performances from the cast, the show beautifully balances out the police operation against the ideals of a group of people worried about the environment and who believe taking LSD can help to create a better world and future.

The audience loved it, embracing the cast and music throughout. I’m not sure what I was singing along with in Welsh, (honestly, it could have been about goats.) But it didn’t matter, the atmosphere was great, and everyone was enjoying themselves.

I enjoyed everything about this show. From the quiet, gradual introduction of the cast and band, to the final moments and crescendo of the encore and well deserved standing ovation.

The songs were well performed throughout, and the set seamlessly transformed from psychedelic tie dye and macrame to the blank walls of a police station and the inside of a pub.

The cast, some playing multiple roles were brilliant. Georgina White and Joseph Tweedale were great as Christine and Richard, and I also enjoyed the performances from Dan Bottomley as Smiles and Steve Simmonds as DCI Lee.

Operation Julie was funny, poignant, thought provoking and will be changing the world at The Lyceum until Saturday May 25.

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