I think I have to rank Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years as one of my favourite new musicals (it was first performed in 2001) as any show with such a sequence of extraordinary songs as ‘A Part Of That’, ‘The Schmuel Song’ and ‘A Summer In Ohio’ at its heart surely deserves.
Samantha Barks and Jonathan Bailey are just the latest in a line of musically exquisite, broken-hearted couples to tackle Jason Robert Brown’s song cycle. Remember Lara Pulver and Damian Humbley in the UK premiere? Here’s a pictorial timeline including them and other transatlantic pairings you may recognise.
I despair of two-handed musicals. Required to judge the personalities or take sides, you feel trapped. Nowhere more so than at The Last Five Years, in which the partners wail their issues at you in a relentless school-of-not-very-good-rock song cycle which makes you their couples therapist.
You almost wonder where this show can possibly go when the opening number is so strong, so emotive, so damn heartbreaking. Cathy is “Still Hurting” from the break-up of her relationship with Jamie and Samantha Barks is already singing the crap out of her darkest hour when we’ve barely settled in our seats
Opening with two lovers sharing a kiss, for Samantha Barks’ Cathy, an aspiring actress it is her tragic last, while for writer Jamie, played by Jonathan Bailey, it is a trepidatious first.
Due to popular demand, THE LAST FIVE YEARS, starring Samantha Barks and Jonathan Bailey, has extended its run by a week at London’s St James Theatre.
Tony Award-winning Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown will helm a new London production of his acclaimed musical The Last Five Years, playing at St. James Theatre from Friday 27 October 2016, with a press night on Wednesday 2 November at 7.00pm. Tickets are on general sale at 10.00am on Saturday 25 June.
WEST END LIVE with MasterCard takes place in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June 2016. Celebrating its 12th year, the free musical extravaganza showcases the best of the West End. Attracting crowds of more than 500,000 people over the course of the weekend, WEST END LIVE with MasterCard is the largest event of its type in the world. The 2016 performance line-up, announced today, includes over 25 shows and stars including Beverley Knight, Michael Xavier, Kerry Ellis, Tom Chambers, Samantha Barks, Matt Cardle and Pixie Lott.
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