We round up the reviews for the first Fringe musical production to open in London since lockdown.
The Telegraph: ★★★ “A renovated pub garden plays host to a story of cross-dressing and homophobia – but does it take its subject seriously enough?”
The Arts Desk: ★★★ “Stephen Dexter’s production is hard to resist. David Shields’ design, with its pot plants and red velvet curtains, is part palm court, part theatre. Our dauntless duo – Jed Berry’s Stella and Kane Verrall’s Fanny – are togged up in flounces, bloomers and leather corsets, or, in their male guise, in period waistcoats teamed with skin-tight jeans and DMs. Along with a four-strong supporting cast, they strut, swirl and flounce through such cheerfully ribald numbers, choreographed with high-kicking verve and economy by Nick Winston, as ‘Sodomy on the Strand’ and ‘Has Anyone Seen My Fanny?’
London Theatre1: ★★★★ “Fans of ‘music hall’ songs will love the style of many of the numbers. Aaron Clingham does a sterling job as musical director.”
The Upcoming: ★★★★ “With high-octane, enduring music hall songs and consistent grade-A performances from the company and music director Aaron Clingham, it’s impossible not to be charmed by Fanny and Stella.”
Broadway World: ★★★★★ “Fanny and Stella is important, educational and a whole lot of fun.”
The Reviews Hub: ★★★★ “The overall result is a piece which disguises itself as a musical and which tells us it is but an evening of slight frippery. Look closer, and you see a tale of immense depth and character.”
Musical Theatre Review: ★★★★ “If you feel ready to re-enter the real world, there are few safer places to do so than at The Eagle in the audience of this show, and none that will give you such a great night of bawdy and captivating fun.”
iNews: ★★★ “Verrall’s Fanny is a nice mix of wistful and waspish, while Berry’s Stella is exuberant, extravagant fun, an outrageous flirt who pouts, parades and strops while grinding multiple men’s affections beneath a high-heeled boot.”
Fanny and Stella plays at The Garden Theatre until 25 August 2020.