Alex Cofield grew up in the sleepy little village of North Piddle, where all is well but not much really happens. There's the wholesome local vicar, Cheryl the irritable neighbour, Bernard the retired gardener, Big Pat the racist bar-fiend, and Wendy the gossipy cashier. But not is all as it seems, as Mr Fishwick, the local busy-body, keeps a tight reign on the community, and doesn't take too kindly when he catches wind of Cofield's plans to leave the village behind to explore the wider world.
What unfolds is a classic tale of the lone individual defying their community, a la Antigone, but with all the trappings of a rap-based musical. Supernova is one-man theatre, performed mostly through verse, but Cofield is a masterful lyricist who is able to bring the wide cast of villagers to life with the help of clever writing, a solid sense of comedic timing, and a vibrant original score. (Not to mention the effective use of simple props and costume: the soduku bit was particularly impressive).
Supernova is obviously partly autobiographical. Cofield reports that many of the characters in the musical are based on the real-life residents of North Piddle. And the main character's desire to leave the village behind resonates with Cofield's personal desire to do just the same – hence why he is currently in Adelaide, and not on the outskirts of Worcester. This makes for an inspired metaphor, where a literal village conspiracy to keep Cofield in North Piddle stands in for the more mundane forces that keep us close to home.
The only complaint is that Cofield doesn't do enough with the conceit, and the story ends on an anti-climatic hero moment cluttered with self-effacing meta commentary. Undoubtedly this is because Supernova is in its first iteration – a still-germinating seed – that will only realise its full potential with a wider cast and another act and a half's worth of material. But all the elements are nevertheless there, and Cofield clearly has the makings of an excellent dramatist.
If you own the Hamilton mix-tape, you're subscribed to a musical theatre podcast, or you've written a blog post about Julie Andrews, then you have no excuse not to catch up with this show. Supernova is absolutely made for theatre nerds. But, in its state as-is, the show is also a hell of a lot of fun, and despite the unsatisfying conclusion I have absolutely no qualms recommending it to any and all comers.