REVIEW: Crocodile Rock – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Andy McGregor appears to be spearheading a resurgence in homegrown musicals. Crocodile Rock, originally performed as part of Òran Mór’s 2019 A Play, a Pie and a Pint season, is now embarking on a well-deserved national tour.

Steven McPhail is 17 and stuck on a tiny island off the west coast of Scotland, not knowing quite who he is, or what the hell to do with his life. His prospects boil down to working in his dad’s hard-as-nails pub, or his mum’s B&B. There’s that, and the daily humiliation of going to school to face the object of your affection who has made your life hell since you tried to kiss him.

Steven’s horizons expand way beyond the beaches of the Isle of Cumbrae to the bright lights of the big city, when he tentatively takes his first steps in stilettos and makeup after he meets the glorious Vincente the “queen from Barcelona”.

This one-man-and-a-band musical is absolutely what the Scottish theatre-going public needs right now; with places we know, references we whole-heartedly get, with characters we can really care about and a conciseness of storytelling (coming in at an economic under-90 minutes).

The fact that we care is not only down to McGregor’s emotional rollercoaster of a show, but the central performance on which its success firmly rests. Stephen Arden is utterly magnetic as Steven, completely compelling and thoroughly sublime from the get-go. He flits through a myriad of characters with stunning ease, making each distinct – no mean feat and one to be lauded. That coupled with an impressive vocal range of which he has complete control, it’s a sure-fire recipe for success.

This fabulous musical about finding your tribe is a must-see. It will leave you with a skip in your step and a song in your heart.

Runs until 1 October 2022 then touring | Image: Tim Morozzo



Sleeping Warrior Theatre Company in association with Beacon Arts Centre and Cumbernauld Theatre at Lanternhouse have announced the 2022 tour of Crocodile Rock and A New Life
Both shows are written by Andy McGregor, the creator of the critically acclaimed SPUDS, and designed by Kenny Miller with lighting by Grant Anderson. The cast for both shows includes Stephen ArdenKim Shepherd and Simon Donaldson. Performing Musical Director is Andy Manning
Crocodile Rock
It’s 1997, it’s Millport and Steven McPhail is bored. He’s 17 and it’s now time to work out what to do with the rest of his life. The problem is, there’s only so many options when you find yourself stuck on a Scottish island.
Everything changes when a chance encounter with a glorious drag queen shows Steven a world he never knew existed. A one-man musical featuring original music, Crocodile Rock is a story about finding yourself, understanding others and being true to those you love.
A New Life
Robbie and Jess are living the life.
He’s a successful computer programmer and she is on her way to being a headteacher. Until totally out of the blue, Jess discovers she is pregnant.
They’ll be fine. It’s just a baby. I mean…how disruptive to their metropolitan, 21st century lives can that be?
They. Have. No. Idea.
A heartfelt, surreal and truthful musical comedy that may or may not feature a tap-dancing baby…!
Crocodile Rock and A New Life are touring to Greenock, Glasgow, Falkirk, Bathgate, Stirling, Kilmarnock, Largs, Edinburgh, St Andrews and Aberdeen.

Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock 
Sat 24 Sep | A New Life | 2.30pm 
£12/£10 | 01475 723 723 | beaconartscentre.co.uk
Sat 24 Sep | Crocodile Rock | 7.30pm 
£12/£10 | 01475 723 723 | beaconartscentre.co.uk
Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Wed 28 Sep | Crocodile Rock | 7:30pm 
£19/£16/£14.50 0141 552 4267 | tron.co.uk
Thu 29 Sep | A New Life  | 7.30pm
£19/£16/£14.50 0141 552 4267 | tron.co.uk
Fri 30 Sep | Crocodile Rock | 7.30pm
£19/£16/£14.50 | 0141 552 4267 | tron.co.uk
Sat 1 Oct | Crocodile Rock | 2.30pm
£19/£16/£14.50 | 0141 552 4267 | tron.co.uk
Sat 1 Oct | A New Life | 7.30pm
£19/£16/£14.50 | 0141 552 4267 | tron.co.uk
Reconnect Regal Theatre, Bathgate 
Sun 2 Oct | Crocodile Rock | 7.30pm 
£12/£10 | 01506 639 000 | reconnectregaltheatre.com
Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling 
Sat 8 Oct | Crocodile Rock | 7.30pm
£15.50/£13.50 | 01786 466 666 | macrobertartscentre.org
FTH Theatre, Falkirk
Sun 9 Oct | A New Life | 7pm
£15 (includes a drink and a pie) | 01324 506 850 | falkirkleisureandculture.org
CentreStage, Kilmarnock 
Sat 15 Oct | A New Life | 2pm 
£12/£10 | 01563 551 505 | centrestagemt.org.uk
Sat 15 Oct | Crocodile Rock | 7pm 
£12/£10 | 01563 551 505 | centrestagemt.org.uk
discount applies when booking both shows
Barrfields Theatre, Largs
Thu 20 Oct | Crocodile Rock | 7.30pm 
£15/£12 | 01475 689 777 | ticketsource.co.uk/barrfields
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh 
Tue 25 Oct | Crocodile Rock | 7.30pm 
£15/£12/£10/£5 | 0131 228 1404 | traverse.co.uk
Wed 26 Oct | A New Life | 7.30pm 
£15/£12/£10/£5 | 0131 228 1404 | traverse.co.uk
Byre Theatre, St Andrews 
Thu 27 Oct | A New Life | 6.30pm
£15/£12/£10 (pay what you decide) | 01334 475 000 | byretheatre.com
Lemon Tree, Aberdeen 
Fri 4 Nov | Crocodile Rock | 7pm 
£13.20 | 01224 641 122 | aberdeenperformingarts.com
Sat 5 Nov | A New Life | 7pm
£13.20 | 01224 641 122 | aberdeenperformingarts.com
discount applies when booking both shows