Sunday, July 30, 2006

"We're blue without, can't do without, our dreams just won't come true without that certain thing called..."

... The Boyfriend manages both to have a most sumptuous cake, and scoff it repeatedly, in great greedy mouthfuls of fruit and sponge, dollops of chocolate and cream. Just as, though in a very different way, Clint Eastwood expertly treads that fine line between challenging genre cliches and yet indulging in them at the last as well (for example, and especially, the climactic shoot-out of Unforgiven), Ian Talbot's Regents Park Open Air Theatre production of Sandy Wilson's Fifties pastiche of Twenties musicals manages both to make fun and to joyously dive in...

The first rain of last week may have, typically, fallen just as we arrived for a pre-show picnic of Pimms and chocolate biscuits ("Skies may not always be blue..." indeed), but it held off for the performance - luckily for Summer Strallen and Michael Rouse, whose intricate, passionate and high-kicking dancing for "Won't You Charleston With Me" was one of the evening's highlights, and all the better for an unslippery stage...

The giggly girls of Madame Dubonnet's School For Young Ladies on the French Riviera, with their shrieks of flirtatious glee or comic shock-horror, had everyone grinning (well, almost everyone - Sir Trevor McDonald a few rows along looked rather serious and studious), and my three female companions delighted in mimicking the mannerisms all evening, all the way back to Euston...

And the songs, from one of the few major musicals I didn't really know much about beforehand, were just sparkling, especially the eponymous theme tune, the old lech's pleading "It's Never Too Late To Fall In Love", and the keynote "I Could Be Happy With You" (sung by clear-as-a-bell young belle Rachel Jerram as perfect Miss Polly Browne, and a less-impressive (though this may be due to the character) Joshua Dallas as her rather square-of-jaw, square-of-manner beau Tony Brockhurst.

They all play it oh-so-terribly-terribly straight - which only makes the whole show just irresistibly frivolous and arch enough - and tempting enough to ponder a repeat trip "Sur La Plage", at the Regents Park Riviera...

1 comment:

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Sounds like it is a hit!