Dorothy Reynolds and Julian Slade
Theatre Royal Bath
Cameron Mackintosh maintains that this is the show that made him, as a child, fall in love with theatre. Watching this glorious production full of wit, charm and ultimately a great big heart is it easy to understand why. The ludicrous plot is acceptable when accompanied with unbridled fun, sincerity and excellent performances.
Jane (Lowri Hamer) and Tim (Laurie Denman) are recent graduates in 1950’s Britain with over bearing parents and the impending doom of adulthood hanging over them. However, due to the arrival of a tramp how owns a “magic” piano that makes people dance their lives take a turn for the better. This is sheer escapism and it works. The small cast work hard displaying great skills including taking turns in playing the piano. The exuberant choreography (Joanne Mcshane) has a gentle nudge to the era and the vintage bunting style design from Catherine Morgan ensures the perfect English Summer is just in sight.
The vocals are excellent although the sound balance could be improved. However, the entire company multi role with ease and great humour and the lightness of touch from director Bryan Hodgson ensures that we all onboard and secretly want to be part of the fun.
As Jane sings “having the time of my life” it is impossible to disagree with her. A production full of the “feel good” factor and right now this is a perfect antidote to the outside world.
**** – 4 Stars