Following a highly successful run at Above The Arts, the cult hit rock musical, ‘The Quentin Dentin Show‘ is back to London at the Tristan Bates Theatre. As you may know, I love new musicals, because it’s the best way to see so many talented people. This is the case of Adam Lenson, the director of this interesting project. I had the amazing opportunity to talk with him and here you have a Q&A, I hope you enjoy it as much as me:
Cesar: Can you explain to me what The Quentin Dentin Show is about?
Adam: It’s about a couple called Keith and Nat who are in the midst of a relationship breakdown when a space robot called Quentin Dentin comes out of the radio and says he can fix their problems. But his intentions are hardly pure as it becomes apparent that they are just experimental subjects in his bombastic show.
In so doing he examines what it means to be human and what it means to be happy in a world that is rapidly going out of control.
C: There are not too many science fiction musicals, why is The Quentin Dentin Show a musical?
Adam: The show purposely isn’t naturalistic. It is about the everyday things that affect us, but it shows what happens when they are pushed to extremes. Quentin isn’t a human being but is trying to learn why exactly we live the way we do. By doing this he shines a light on themes of capitalism, medication, organised religion and the flaws of modern domesticity.
My experience of science fiction has been that it uses a heightened, speculative frame to pose philosophical questions about situations we are dealing with in the here and now. Watching Star Trek as a kid I was always amazed at how it used the simplified frame of an alien planet to ask questions about situations that are obviously human.
I have long been asking why there is so little genre work onstage. Sci-fi, horror, mystery are all too rare in theatres but are hugely popular onscreen and in books. I hope Quentin will bring more sci-fi onto the stage.
C: What is the style of music?
Adam: It could loosely be described as a rock musical but contains music from throughout that style. From punk to doo-wop, to new romantic, to electro-rock. Like Quentin, the music is eclectic, loud, charming and witty.
C: How do you think the audience will react to the show?
Adam: I think it’s a show that contains something for everyone. Its thoughtful, funny, provocative and above all, different. I hope audiences will leave feeling like they have had their minds expanded and like they have learnt something new about what it means to be human.
C: Quentin Dentin is willing to make everybody happy, what would make you happy?
Adam: I would be happy if there were more new British musicals. I keep hoping that musical theatre can become a more expansive medium that can tell new and unique stories without upsetting the status quo. Musical theatre seems very constrained at the moment to be the same thing over and over again. People hear the word musical and make assumptions about what it will be. But music can tell an infinite amount of stories and I keep wanting to push the form to make sure that music and text can be used to tell as wide a range of stories as possible.
I can’t agree more with you, Adam, thank you very much for sharing your time with me. I wish you all the best with ‘The Quentin Dentin Show‘.