Touring – reviewed at the Lyric Theatre, London
Guest reviewer: Lucy Jardine
On a hot, sticky summer’s evening, did I really want to sit in an equally hot, sticky theatre to listen to music from yesteryear, music I’ve heard so many times before? I expected to hear all the songs we know so well. And I did of course. But we were also treated to a raft of lesser-known ones.
In essence, the entire show – The Simon and Garfunkel Story – consisted of four guys on stage: ‘Simon’ (Philip Murray Warson), ‘Garfunkel’ (Charles Blyth) and their two backing musicians/singers. Warson and Blyth’s vocals were almost flawless, perfectly capturing the beautiful harmonies of the original duo. When I closed my eyes I could almost believe it was them. To be honest, that would almost have been enough.
But what makes the evening even better is the story behind the songs – the anecdotes and details about Simon and Garfunkel’s careers as a duo and as solo artists. This is illustrated by footage from the era which serves to contextualise the songs – we see footage of the Everly Brothers, Martin Luther King and JFK, interspersed with photos of Simon and Garfunkel themselves.
Back to the music. What a fantastic evening. The only reason I would award this show four stars out of five would be due to the occasional lapses in harmony from the backing singers, but largely due to my frustration at not being allowed to sing along at the top of my voice.