Friday, September 15, 2006

Me And My Girl - Lyceum Theatre Sheffield, 14/09/06

Maybe it was because my journey did not require a monumental effort, but this was.... ok to pretty good. The main, insurmountable problem is, I think, that it's not all that good a musical. How 'Lambeth Walk' has survived where other middling sing-alongs haven't is beyond me (the rousing, irrepressibly cheery 'The Sun Has Got It's Hat' on is twice the song, and deserves its longevity, though) and it's got that 'change yourself to fit in and you'll be happy' message that seems to pervade musical theatre. Grease anyone?

But despite what I see as the inherent weakness of the songs (quite a major one, I realise), this is was far from terrible. Richard Frame - the go-to guy for a lovable lead - is as charismatic as he was in Promises, Promises, and his eponymous Lambeth girl, Sally, was played with real warmth and wit by Faye (Steps) Tozer. The supporting cast, including Dillie Keane and Sylvester McCoy, also showed game in throwing themselves into their rather silly (but fun) roles.

Two elements really stood out though - first the choreography. This production was both directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, and it showed - there was a real flow to the production visually, with little physical tics and motifs cropping up throughout the dances, and normal stage business. Secondly, the book, which has been updated by Stephen Fry, and my doesn't it just scream it. Fry's love of language and punnery ('Do you like Kipling?', 'I don't know, I've never Kipled') runs throughout, and is a real highlight of the show which went a little under-appreciated by the audience, I felt. This wasn't a brilliant production, because it simply isn't a brilliant musical, but it was saved, I think, by some lovely delivery of a rather wonderful script.


SimonHolyHoses said...

Faye Tozer? Yay!

AnnaWaits said...

Haha - she was very good!

SimonHolyHoses said...

You know, I suspected as much.

Sometimes you see someone and you sort of get a feeling about them, that regardless of what it is they are doing, there's something that shines through. They make the best of a bad job like a thorough pro. I sort of felt like that about her.

And anyway, there were at least two Steps songs that had me singing like Barbara Streisand when nobody was looking.

And the dances? Ahem. I only learnt them so I could teach them to my daughter. Ahem...