What goes on backstage at a high-school musical turns out to be more exciting than what is in front of the footlights in this comedy-drama from director Marc Evans
. It's 1976, and Vivienne (Minnie Driver
) is a music teacher at a high school in a working-class suburb of Swansea, Wales. Vivienne has been put in charge of directing the school's end-of-season musical, and she's chosen an unusual and ambitious project -- an adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Tempest
with a score assembled from contemporary rock tunes. Swansea isn't exactly a haven for the arts, and Vivienne has a hard time keeping her cast interested in rehearsals as warm weather arrives and the end of the school year looms. However, there are exceptions -- Davey (Aneurin Barnard
) is excited that he gets to play love scenes as Ferdinand with the play's Miranda, a girl named Stella (Danielle Branch) who has stolen his heart despite her reputation. However, as Davey becomes infatuated with Vivienne, things become increasingly complicated for her, especially after she persuades several members of the faculty to join the cast. Hunky Dory
includes performances of period-appropriate tunes from a number of British rock acts, including David Bowie
, Electric Light Orchestra
, and Nick Drake.