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Posts Tagged ‘James Church’

Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to see this on the same day as Love Story, though I booked this first. Initially, the contrast of silly and frivolous with the afternoon’s deeply moving was too much, but I have to say it won me over – largely because of a superb ensemble which sang Julian Slade & Dorothy Reynolds 1957 score gloriously.

It’s a sort of Carry On In The Channel, set in Jersey and another fictitious and very isolated channel island called Terhou (sounds more South Pacific than English Channel) which gets few visitors and likes it that way. The arrival of heiress Geraldine escaping the paparazzi (in 1957!) is initially welcome as it solves the problem that they’ve run out of young ladies to be Independence Day Queen (you can only do it once) but eventually causes havoc when the island’s Lord Paul Postumous (!) foolishly brings her suitor Jack and journalist Ivy back from his brief trip to Jersey. Lord Paul’s nephew falls for Geraldine, Lord Paul for journalist Ivy and all of the island girls for Jack. Oh, and there’s a sub-plot romance between the more mature Miss Catermole and Mr Potter the bailiff – and it ends with three happy couples; obviously.

It’s silly stuff but it’s got a score as light as air and this cast sing it terrifically – solo, in pairs & groups and most brilliantly as an ensemble – with solo piano accompaniment from James Church. There’s no set to speak of (it’s performed on the set of the Finborough’s other current play) but Stewart Nicholls’ manages to make it work, marshaling 17 performers in this tiny space, also with a light touch. Daft and frothy, but a lot of fun in these more than capable hands. The evening was made surreal by the reunion of a group of friends in the audience who had put on the show so long ago that not all of them could remember which part they played – but remembered enough to occasionally sing along!

These lost musical evenings at the Finborough really are indispensable.

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