‘A couple of hours of something really quite moving’: IT’S ONLY LIFE – Union Theatre

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

Union Theatre, London – until 7 July 2018

It’s trickier than you might think to make a revue really work. Putting together a programme of unconnected songs to showcase a composer’s work is one thing, but breathing genuine theatrical life into it is entirely another. Fortunately, the folks behind It’s Only Life, produced by Aria Entertainment at the Union Theatre, have done just that.

The US composer and lyricist John Bucchino is the man of the moment here, in a show conceived by himself and Daisy Prince. But it is tempting to consider director Tania Azevedo the real star, leading a superb company of cast and creatives to elevate what could be something quite slight, into a couple of hours of something really quite moving.@ItsOnlyLifeUK at @TheUnionTheatre

From the ice-cream-hued accents on Justin Williams and Jonny Rust’s design to the sprinkling of William Whelton’s choreography, to the indefatigable piano of MD Nick Barstow (seriously, not even a conversation about a lighting crisis seemed to distract him whilst playing), the world of this show is made to be warm and inviting – a place where you might not mind sharing a secret but equally, a place where you don’t have to if you don’t want.

Which kinda reflects the intimate nature of the songs here, delivered with real emotional precision. Jordan Shaw’s exquisite heartbreak in ‘If I Ever Say I’m Over You’, Jennifer Harding similarly finding the sweet spot through the tears in ‘I’ve Learned To Let Things Go’ and ‘Sweet Dreams’, Noel Sullivan’s gorgeous geniality perking us all up with the delightful and heartfelt ‘Grateful’. A great introduction to Bucchino’s music and a lovely evening in the theatre.

 

Ian Foster on FacebookIan Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."
Read more...

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Ian Foster on FacebookIan Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."