An inspirational reminder that you don’t always need big budgets, elaborate sets and full orchestral scores to create a five-star show. Sometimes all you need is a tiny black box, a beautifully written story and an exceptionally talented cast.
In this all-musical show we follow Deb (Nora Perone) Warren (Neil Cameron), Claire (Kirby Hughes) and Jason (Alistair Frederick) on an intertwining journey through New York City. Somewhere between a ‘rom-com’ and ‘coming of age’ story there is just the right amount of cynicism and scorn in this play to prevent it slipping into yet another happy-clappy musical and stand out as something much more substantial.
Even allowing for the American nuances, you’ll definitely find a piece of yourself in all of these delightfully down to earth characters. The tangibility and naturalistic delivery is what makes the play so enjoyable to watch. By making these characters so identifiable and ordinary writer Adam Gown is able to fast-track the audience to point of character connection a lot quicker than is the norm, meaning that you find yourself falling in love with them all in no time at all.
A small but strong cast each stands out in their own right and brings something equally charming to the piece.
Perone’s delectably disdainful demure is hilarious to watch. She’s got a big plan, yet somehow she’s not quite sure how to get there. Stomping about the stage, rolling her eyes, attempting (and failing) to remain calm while she tries to track down her lost dissertation, it’s an incredibly accurate presentation of the life of a student trying to reach adulthood.
Cameron’s never-ending optimism and inspirational positivity in his portrayal of ‘Warren’ was for me especially heart melting, because being more of a ‘Deb’ type of girl myself I felt a twinge of guilt as I wondered how many ‘Warrens” I had upset purely on the basis that I found them a tad too happy!
Hughes and Frederick played the star-crossed lovers ‘Jason’ and ‘Claire’ only with a little more bickering, commitment phobia and general exasperation. This realistic take on modern-day romance provided some tender and tearful moments.
It really and truly was an advertisement for talent over razzle dazzle and glitz and glam.
Currently at the London Theatre Workshop in Gracechurch Street until June 17th, you can find tickets here
P.s Thank you very much to the Ordinary Days team for the tickets!