ALL OR NOTHING – THE MOD MUSICAL
by Carol Harrison
The Arts Theatre, to 11 March 2018.
Tues-Sat 7,30pm Mat Thu, Sat & Sun 3pm.
Runs 2hr 35 mins One interval.
TICKETS: 020 7836 8463.
Review: William Russell 8 February.
The boys in the band
Great songs and well honed performances from the boys playing the 60s boy band Small Faces – the show has been touring all over the place before ending up for this West End stint – ensure this is a hugely enjoyably evening. The theatre rocks and so do the boys. As for the songs, there is the title number, the glorious Lazy Sunday, Itchycoo Park and Tin Soldier woven skilfully into the inevitable rise and fall plot as the boys fall out, the promoters cheat them something rotten, and after the obligatory sex, drugs and what at the time seemed amazing clothes, although they are take by today’s standards, the high life comes to an end.
It has to be said the opening scenes in lead singer Steve Marriott’s home are terrible and Ms Harrison playing his Mum gives a performance that is simply grotesque, straight out of a low level 60s sit com with a script to match. Mrs Slocomb would seem the height of refinement beside what she gets up to. However she soon disappears, which leaves Ms Harrison to get on with directing the show, something she does rather well. As the evening goes on things start to soar and by curtain time everyone is on their feet wiggling their hips, cheering, wanting – and getting – just one more number.
The band’s tale is narrated with considerable skill by Chris Simmons as Marriott in middle age. He drops in and out of the past to effect. As the aspiring pop star Samuel Pope conjures up the man with uncanny skill as he acquires LSD – lead singer’s disease – and gets difficult to work with. He is abetted by Stefan Edwards (Kenny Jones), Stenton Wright (Ronnie Lane) and Alexander Gold (Ian McLagen) as the other guys with small faces and, it seems at times, brains to match, as well as by a good cast doubling and trebling the people the boys meet on the way up and down in their four year existence.
This is a welcome addition to the ranks of the boy band nostalgic they don’t make them like the used to musicals which has clearly benefited from its time on the road. It rocks and so do the audience.
Older Steve Marriott: Chris Simmons.
Kay Marriott: Carol Harrison.
Young Steve Marriott: Samuel Pope.
Kenny Jones: Stefan Edwards.
Ronnie Lane: Stanton Wright.
Ian McLagan: Alexander Gold.
Jimmy Winston/Andrew Oldham: Eward Elgood.
PP Arnold: Karis Anderson.
Don Arden/Johnnie Stewart: Russell Floyd.
Bill Marriott/TonyBlackburn/Stanley Unwin: Daniel Beales
Robert Stigwood/Terry The Egg/Rod Stewart/Pete Frampton: Allie Harrison-Foreman.
Jenny/Cathy McGowan/Dancer/Annabelle: Dani Acors.
Dance Captain/Mod Girl: Emily Daniels.
Alternate Steve Marriott: David Shute.
Alternate Kay Marriott: Danielle Johnson.
Director: Carol Harrison.
Set Designer: Rebecca Brower.
Lighting Designer: Peter Small.
Costume Designer: Charlotte Espiner.
Choreographer: Cameron Hall.
Musical Designer: Pat Davey.
Vocal Coach/Creative Consultant: Mollie Marriott.