At Sheffield Crucible
There is simply no denying that this is a seriously slick show. In terms of turning around a musical in a matter of weeks and making it look as professional as this, director Anna Mackmin has pulled off a quite staggering feat.
First written in 1937, this production uses the Stephen Fry updating of the book of the musical in the Eighties. and while a lot of fun, it seems to be unsure whether it is celebrating the twee or making fun of it in a slightly cynical fashion.
The story is one of our oldest – a poor boy turns out to actually be a very, very rich boy, but has to choose between money and his one true love. As Bill Snibson, Daniel Crossley is the hardest working performer in Yorkshire this Christmas. He dances, sings and absolutely powers his way through the show.
He is very ably supported by all around him, particularly the magnetic Jemima Rooper as his true love Sally Smith and Stephen Mears' choreography is among the best seen in the region this year. There are times, particularly in the first half climactic performance of The Lambeth Walk, that the stage is reminiscent of one of those split second perfect dances from the movie musical version of Oliver!
This is a great show with genuinely brilliant performances – I just wish I knew if I was supposed to enjoy it wholeheartedly or with a smirk and a wink.
To January 29.