Drayton Arms Theatre, London – until 9 December 2017
Christmas is approaching so spirits are high but as the days get colder we and darker we tend to crave the optimistic escape that theatre provides. Ordinary Days is just what we need – realistic, heartfelt and warm. I saw a production of the show during my first year of university and was already a fan of the music and story, but this production made me love it even more.
Adam Gwon‘s musical tells the story of four people trying to find themselves in New York City. There’s a couple: Claire (Natalie Day) and Jason (Taite-Elliot Drew) who are struggling to fill “The Space Between” them since they’ve moved in together. There’s also a cynical graduate called Deb (Nora Perone) who meets aspiring artist, Warren (Neil Cameron) when he finds her notebook full of thesis notes. The Drayton Arms theatre provides a perfect, intimate setting for these character’s stories to unfold.
The relatability of this show is really what makes it special. The characters are normal people who we can imagine in our own lives, their struggles are just like ours and the whole thing feels very genuine. The two storylines meet occasionally and highlight how our actions can affect others without us knowing. The hustle and bustle of city life is shown particularly well despite having almost no set and it really makes you think about taking a few more minutes each day to care about people you see on the tube, street or wherever!
Nora Perone as Deb is definitely the standout performance, eliciting laugh after laugh through her humorous dialogue and hilarious facial expressions. The friendship which grows between her and Warren (played wonderfully by Neil Cameron) is touching to see as they help one another figure out what they want with life. They really bounce off one another and create some ‘Beautiful’ moments. Natalie Day is vulnerable but strong as Claire with some standout vocal moments such as ‘Gotta Get Out’ and ‘I’ll Be Here’. Her partner in crime, Jason, is portrayed fantastically by Taite-Elliot Drew; suitably boyish and genuine he is perfect for the role.
This show is a reminder to cherish the here and now and always remember that we write our own stories as well as having an influence on others. With catchy music and real life humour, there’s really not much to dislike!
An intimate, character driven show, Ordinary Days is the ideal way to spend 75 minutes! So get along to the Drayton Arms theatre to fight those winter blues!
photo credit: Natalie Lomako