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What a lovely musical, which is nothing like a musical: no jazz hands, no glitter and no step-ball-changes happening on this stage.

This is the story of three people over the space of about 30 years, a story of how their lives intertwined through love, music, hatred and betrayal.

Becca – started as a receptionist at a music studio, fell in love with a singer songwriter called Phil. They got married, had a child, they had issues, drifted apart. Becca found God, did a few different jobs before becoming a PA and eventually a carer for Ian. After dedicating her life to other people, she focussed on herself and became a writer.

Ian – a successful music producer who travelled the world experiencing life to the full. Ian had only two loves of his life and one was Phil, a singer songwriter. Hurt by Phil falling in love with Becca, Ian used his position for a life-time of revenge.

Phil – a musician, singer song-writer whose career never quite reached its potential. Haunted by self-doubt and troubles at home he failed to commit suicide, twice, and then life turned around and things started to get back on track and he was happy. Until tragedy struck.

The format is brilliant: these three characters were telling us their stories, almost a narration of the past. There were re-enactments of tiny snippets of the story which were in the present tense, to accentuate the emotional aspects. The characters took it in turns as they recounted their lives which lead us to see the different viewpoints of the same part of the story, which helped us to become reflective.

Although it initially seems unusual and it was a slow burn to begin with however, it grew at the right pace as it emotionally drew you in. This narrative format allowed for much more storytelling, if it were a usual play format, there would have been too many scenes and would have gone on for hours. This worked.

The subtly of the underlying story was getting stronger as the performance went on. It was about reflecting on your life, enjoying your life, making decisions, grabbing life with both hands, and about making mistakes, which are just as important. There were many aspects which were relatable as it was all about relationships, relationships with ourselves as much as with those we love.

The actors were that good in this narrative format, it felt like a true story and I am still wondering whether it is.

Gina Murray as Becca
Ian McLarnon as Ian
Richard Castello as Phil

Where does the ‘musical’ element fit in? The narrative story was interspersed with beautiful songs with wonderful lyrics. It was set in a music studio with a piano, guitars and microphones and the actors played the instruments and sung. The songs fitted perfectly and were sung with such emotion, there were tears. The tracks are all special enough for this show to have its own soundtrack.

This is a charming show with fabulous music and performers and you leave with food for thought about your own life.

Photo Credit Will Green.

This review first appeared on GrapevineLIVE.

New Wolsey Theatre


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Much Ado About Nothing


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