Tell me on a Sunday may be the smallest musical Andrew Lloyd Webber has ever written, but as a one-woman musical, it packs enough punch to keep the audience enthralled.
The key to this success, in a Frinton Summer Theatre first, is the casting of Shona White and the accompanying live six-piece band. White, whose credits include Mamma Mia, West Side Story and Wicked, is clearly used to a big stage; she has a big voice and a big presence – precisely what you need to carry off a one-woman show.
Tell me on a Sunday is the story of an ordinary English girl journeying to, and across America, looking for love. Her romantic misadventures are hapless and humorous and feel very Bridget Jones. This was originally written in the 1970s, a time when the male gaze and women defining themselves through their male relationships was de facto. Luckily, times have moved on.
As a one-woman musical, the role demands huge energy from the leading lady, and White appears unstoppable as she moves seamlessly across the shifting scenes and is word perfect for the 26 songs. This is archetypal Lloyd Webber scores, and even if you’ve never heard the songs before, the music has a familiarity which will have you humming along in no time. Take that look off your face was a hit when released originally, but I particularly enjoyed It’s not the end of the world, Come back with the same look in your eyes and Dreams never run on time, which are new additions to the original.
Frinton Summer Theatre may not be the West End, but this production packs the West End magic into an intimate space which is sure to please many musical lovers.
Playing until the 22nd August https://www.frintonsummertheatre.org/WHATSON
Reviewer: Samantha Collett
Reviewed: 17th August 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★