To deliver a full-length musical, with 27 original songs, is an admirable achievement and Hamilton composer Chris Williams has upped the ante by crafting musical theatre out of the desolation of a family break-up and a battle with depression.

The story of State Highway 48 follows a bleak downward spiral as a successful salesman's mid-life crisis is turbo-charged by redundancy, marital separation and a bout of clinical depression. The situations, skilfully dramatised with minimal dialogue, all ring true and the story movingly captures the quiet desperation behind the suburban Kiwi dream.

A five-piece band kicks the action along with a