On a Thursday night on the brink of disaster at the turn of some century, eight friends meet at a bar. They think they can do magic. They think they can see the future. They think they can save the world. Their motives for these goals are, at best, varied.
From dusk until dawn, their beliefs in themselves, their faith in mysticism, and their relationships with one another will rupture. However, one of the most feared cards in the tarot deck tells us that sometimes things need to fall apart in order to heal.
This is the premise of The Battle of Blythe Road, a rock musical based loosely on the artists and weirdos of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Order was active at the turn of the 20th century, but their fascination with the occult and belief in the power of art to spur social change have resurfaced over and over again throughout history. The show uses music to connect the Order to the punks and hippies of the 1970s and the online activists of the post-Covid world. I’m exploring the idea of cycles: why do these waves of interest in the occult keep happening, despite evidence that magic isn’t real? And why is social change always one step forward, two steps back?
An exploration of faith, social progress, and humanity’s desire to find explanations for the world around them, The Battle of Blythe Roadexamines our determination to get in our own way — and asks what we can do to escape the cycles of history..