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Posts Tagged ‘Tori Allen-Martin’

This is the third musical I’ve seen over the last seven days, and on a way smaller scale than the other two, but I enjoyed it just as much. It’s a two-hander RomCom, a debut for its writers Jim Barne & Kit Buchan, and a tribute to those that have nurtured them.

Dougal arrives in New York City on Christmas Eve for the wedding of the dad he’s never met; he deserted his mum and moved there before he was born. The bride’s sister Robin is there to greet him. He’s a movie buff, so he’s bubbling with excitement to be in such an iconic city, and to at last meet his dad. Robin is busy, somewhat jaded and a bit unhappy, and clearly finds Dougal irritating. His hopes of a sightseeing companion for his short 36-hour visit are quashed, but he tags along as Robin undertakes wedding tasks for her sister. She begins to fall for the charms of this cheeky, chirpy young Brit and they begin a whirlwind tour of the city that becomes more touristy, more Christmasy and more romantic as the evening and night progresses. Robin is melting as the snow starts to fall, but Dougal heads to the church on his own as Robin has a very good reason to give the wedding a miss.

The seventeen songs are excellent, the lyrics particularly good at adding thoughts and emotions to the narrative. I found the song Dad very moving, a simple but lovely number where Dougal sings about what he missed by not having a dad. There’s a very original touch when they row, with accompaniment added by the band. It’s all beautifully sung, and played well by Grant Walsh’s trio. I loved Alex Cardall’s characterisation of Dougal; you fall for his charms within minutes of meeting him and by the end you adore him. Tori Allen-Martin navigates Robin’s melt really well, and is a very authentic New Yorker, who you also grow to love. Tim Jackson’s staging and Amy Jane Cook’s design bring an intimacy and a flow and it fits this theatre like a glove.

A lovely show. Well worth the trip to Northampton. Surely to have a life beyond this short run, but catch it there before the end of November if you can.

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