Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Rashbrook’

People seem rather surprised that someone has turned this into a musical – they even had a feature on Radio 4’s today show and the FT reviewed it. Well, why not? If you can make a successful 2-hour film from Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, you can make a successful 2-hour show (as Howard Goodall’s Love Story  has just proved).

This isn’t the finished article, but there’s much to admire and enjoy. Alex Loveless is largely successful in conveying the repression of the relationship between the butler and the housekeeper and just as successful with the sociopolitical backdrop of the years leading up to the second world war. The goodallesque score works best when sung by the full chorus but less so in the lighter numbers ( ‘The End of the Pier’  is particularly incongruous – you can almost hear the creators saying ‘now it’s time for a lighter number’).

The two leads – Stephen Rashbrook and Lucy Bradshaw – are both believable and moving, and they are supported by an excellent company of  12 other actors. I was shocked when I realised the off-stage band was only 4 strong, such is the sound they make in the tiny Union Theatre. Director Chris Loveless uses the space very effectively, helped by an excellent design from David Shields (the costumes are particularly good).

This is a very promising first outing  for this show. It needs a bit of work, but I’ll be surprised if we don’t see it again in the not-too-distant future.

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