Gently immersive and quietly heartbreaking, DJ Bazzer’s Year 6 Disco makes for a fantastic time at the Golden Goose Theatre
“I think about how this is going to be a very long night”
Party hats on entry aside, DJ Bazzer’s Year 6 Disco kicks off with an inspired rug pull of a move that encapsulates the play perfectly. Can reality ever live up to how good things seem in our head? And what can we do when that realisation finally kicks home? Georgie Bailey’s one-man multimedia journey for ChewBoy Productions explores just that with searing insight and a truly empathetic ear.
In his mind’s eye, Baz is a cutting edge DJ who would make David Guetta quake in his loafers. In reality, he’s 35 and the resident disc jockey for Brigdale Primary but he’s no less committed for that, and the upcoming Year 6 Leavers Disco is his moment to shine. But when that moment is threatened by a blast from the past, Baz is forced to reckon with his history and deal with just how much it has shaped him.
Mike Cottrell’s production fires effectively on all cylinders, not least in employing DJ consultant Gaia Ahuja to really nail some of those finer details. Immersive elements that draw you right into the school disco are warmly inclusive and great fun, and carving out space in the auditorium allows for real intimacy, especially in the confessional moments. He also deeply understands the power of starkly simple imagery – a line of falling dominoes punches a hole in the heart with its finality.
And the whole show is anchored by a frankly sensational performance from Jack Sunderland as Baz. As we switch between school years, early adulthood and the present day, from boy to young man to manchild, Sunderland delves deep into Baz’s psyche to portray the different ways emotional damage can be done, and carried. Haunted by the past, overcompensating in an eager present, it is impossible not to feel deeply for him, even if he does like a bit of Robbie Williams.