We round up the reviews for Jonathan O’Boyle’s production of Jason Robert Brown’s musical The Last Five Years at the Southwark Playhouse.
Jonathan O’Boyle’s production of The Last Five Years has to be a definitive production of this complex and unusual work.
It may be almost 20 years old, but Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years feels timeless and recognisable and this bold restaging at Southwark Playhouse is a triumph.
Southwark Playhouse has announced a new slate of productions for spring 2020 as they prepare to move into new premises. How many have you booked for already?
Jason Robert Brown opened the show with an emotive song about finding hope in a hopeless situation which he revealed was written the day after the last presidential election.
A new collective of committed artists breathes fresh life into independent musical theatre favourite The Last Five Years with an immersive, music-centric production.
The plot fuses a caper like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Indecent Proposal where mobster types hijack the love story of Jack and Betsy by offering her a weekend in Hawaii to pay off his gambling debt. Betsy escapes the hoods disguised as a showgirl, Jack has pursued her in a troupe of skydiving Elvis impersonators.
Best I can say about Dirty Great Love Story is it could make a great date night for Valentine’s Day because your own relationship will seem so much better than dopey Richard and neurotic Katie’s in this trying-too-hard two-hander.
I started the year intending to see fewer shows than in 2015, when I made 304 visits to the theatre – but, somehow, I seem have crept up to 332 for 2016. The only consolation is that it is still some way off the high water mark of 2014… 383.
Ahead of rounding up various publications #theatre2016 highlights, I’m taking a moment to reflect on my own theatregoing year and my favourite plays, musicals, performances and other events.
As it’s the first of the month, we’re taking a brief moment to remind ourselves of the most popular contributions from our 20+ syndicate Mates bloggers from the month just closed. What were the reviews and other blogs that got readers clicking most? Any surprises?
When The Last Five Years announced an extension of a week just after opening, it meant I was able to nab a pair of cheap tickets down the front, conveniently on the side where the shirtless scene happens, and take a friend.
Blessed with a terrific pair of leads, The Last Five Years makes a welcome return to Australia in this affecting involving and insightful production.
Even the most moving performances are often largely removed from our day-to-day lives. But every so often you come across a piece of theatre that, whilst it may not be the objective best thing you’ve seen, encapsulates your life so well that you can’t not fall in love with it.
For those that don’t know this is a two-hander musical telling the story of a married couple from each of their own prospective. However the difference being is that each of them start from the opposite end and work their way back/forward of The Last Five Years.
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.
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