July 23, 2016
I know every professional review gives it four or five stars. And I think it would probably have been better in the more intimate Menier where it started off, but the Savoy is hardly huge. The main trouble is the story is crap. Sheridan Smith (now back in role) is great at what she has to work with, but it is trite, predictable, old fashioned and underdeveloped. Her character (Fanny Brice) is not really likeable. I didn’t give a shit about what happened to her. There were hardly any hard times for us to see her struggle against adversity; one good number where she is a crap chorus girl and one song about “If you ain’t pretty like Miss Atlantic City, then give up”. And her then telling everyone how fantastic she is which to be honest isn’t very endearing. But she seemingly got a break straight away and then came on to do a number which I honestly thought was meant to show her bombing. How is flashing bloomers funny? But apparently everybody loved it so she became the star of the show. Her mother and two friends do various numbers well enough, as does her suave lover, but it is tired.It’s not a musical with anything new to offer, or to excite. It felt like we were watching a school production, albeit a good one. Smith is good – and her comedic song as a bride really well delivered, but it wasn’t enough for us to come back for the second half. She’s wasted in this role and deserves better.
November 14, 2013
Harsh harsh harsh I know. But I’d seen the film and LOVED it so perhaps it was always on a hiding to nothing. The trouble was the narrative just didn’t carry through so we didn’t give a toss about any of the characters. We didn’t feel the poverty, the striving, the fecklessness, the dogged rehearsals, the gradual improvement. We did get some great singing from the lead guy, and the instrumentalists could play OK. But why spend £60 a ticket to see people playing at being in a soul band, when you could go and see the real thing for half that price and get a whole night of it, not interspersed with random bits of flouncing off for no apparent reason? And the accents were shite by some of them. I mean there are enough Irish here in London to either be in the show or helping performers get their accent right.
This is a show for the populous who don’t go to see bands but like having a comfy seat to listen to their music. If it had concentrated the story to just two characters but done them in depth it might have worked. But it didn’t. It tried to recreate the film and failed. two and a half stars.
But nice Mexican bite to eat right next door on Romilly street – Bodega Negra. Easy three stars.