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Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Hayes Rogers’

This was the first musical adaptation of a Shakespeare pay; well, there haven’t been that many in the 75 years since it was written. I don’t think we’ve seen it in London since Judi Dench’s production at the Open Air Theatre back in 1991, which is a bit of a puzzle as Shakespeare’s comedy of mistaken identities lends itself to musical theatre adaptation and this show has a pretty good score, including the standards Falling In Love With Love and This Can’t Be Love.

In this production, the audience is on three sides with a small, but little used, stage on the fourth; when all 18 were dancing, they were in danger of falling over each other! It’s quite a challenge for a small theatre and a relatively inexperienced company, and in the somewhat ragged first half, this showed when things got a bit too close to panto with performances a bit too broad. Things picked up significantly in the second half, though, by which time it was steaming.

Perhaps what puts others off producing it is the need for eight principles and its here that the Union has done particularly well. The twins – Aaron Hayes Rogers & Matthew Cavendish and Oliver Seymour-Marsh & Alan McHale were well-matched and invested great physical energy into the many entrances and exits of these roles. The girls fared particularly well, with Carrie Sutton’s Adriana, Natalie Woods’ Luce and Cara Dudgeon’s Luciana delivering the show’s highlight, Sing For Your Supper, superbly. Kaisa Hammurlund leads the courtesan’s extremely well in the deliciously titled closing number Oh, Diogenes!

It’s great to see this Rogers & Hart show again after so long. I hadn’t realised until I read the programme note that part of Lorenz Hart’s motivation for doing it was to provide a role for his brother Teddy and a lookalike he continually came up against at auditions, enabling them both the get a Dromio role! If they could tighten up the first half, this revival would go from good to great. As it is, still worth catching.

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