Told over 18 months, Smart Casual follows six inseparable friends as they leave university, fall in love and fall apart.
Pseudo biographic, with a sharp musical score, a comic script and a narrative that explores sex, class, and loneliness, Smart Casual is a story about trying to figure out life and in all its complexities.
“oxford students were quick, smart, hyper intelligent and funny but often lacked emotional intelligence and self knowledge”
Based on, scripted and performed in Oxford, Smart Casual was written by young playwright Sam Woof when at Balliol College, about his personal insight into student life in Oxford and all its complexities.
“It’s about the student experience at Oxford, which can be overwhelming and confusing at times,” Sam says, “and about discovering what friendship means.”
“Because while the people I met there were quick, smart, hyper intelligent and funny they often lacked emotional intelligence and self knowledge,” he explains.
“So Smart Casual is a frothy, fast, funny, rom com and piss-take of the strange middle class students that have invaded Oxford, to highlight the loneliness of generation Z.”
Having now left Oxford, Sam said when he arrived to study History, despite being “a bursary kid from a private school in North London”, he was “like a fish out of water” and took a long time to adjust to the “bubble that is Oxford University”.
Debuting at Oxford’s North Wall later this month with Sam’s collaborative theatre company GOYA, Smart Casual has been delayed by over a year due to Covid, so Sam is ecstatic that his musical will finally be reaching an audience.
“the show takes audiences on a journey with a group of friends that believe they are a family”
“I love the North Wall. It is the perfect balance between cosy and theatrical. And this will be Smart Casual’s first performance in the world, so we are very excited,” he says.
Taking place in a single apartment, the show takes audiences on a journey with a group of friends that believe they are a family. But how far can this group be sustained? And will anything break them apart more than simply growing up?
“Although the characters may seem cliched at first, it’s what’s going on underneath that counts – their vulnerability and what they mean to each other. Or whether they have anything in common at all outside university,” Sam says.
Smart Casual opens on July 29-31 at The North Wall before transferring to the Cockpit Theatre, as part of the Camden Fringe Festival. https://thenorthwall.ticketsolve.com/shows/873624793