THE SIMON & GARFUNKEL STORY – West End

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Shanine SalmonLeave a Comment

Lyric Theatre, London – until 4 September 2017
Then touring

It would be almost impossible not to enjoy a show based on the wonderful music of Simon and Garfunkel. The melodic joy they brought the world is simply wonderful and so I was delighted to attend The Simon and Garfunkel Story to see for myself how this was going to translate into a West End show.

The true answer is that doesn’t quite but by the end, that didn’t really matter. The show has some issues it could do with sharpening up, but the two leads were so charming that all was more than forgiven.

I was particularly impressed by Charles Blyth as Art who not only had almost as beautiful a singing voice as the original but had a great sense of Garfunkel’s physicality. It was slightly odd then that despite being in costume – and often character – the story was told not through impressions of Paul and Art but through short vignettes told by the actors in their own voices. This slightly broke the illusion.

Overall, the show suffers from not quite knowing what it wants to be. Were they a tribute act, I would expect the illusion of character to be kept up throughout. Were this a stage play, I would expect a bit more of the story, even at the expense of some of the wonderful music.

In the end, though, these are superficial issues that don’t detract from what was a great night out. The audience was swept along by the music and the whole band – especially Sam O’Hanlon as Paul and their band leader bassist Leon Camfield – attacked the performance with the kind of joyous gusto you can’t fail to be charmed by.

Not quite one thing or another in terms of it’s staging it may be, but The Simon and Garfunkel Story definitely left me feelin’ groovy.

Shanine Salmon on Twitter
Shanine Salmon
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.
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Shanine Salmon on Twitter
Shanine Salmon
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.