CARNABY STREET: Carl Leigton-Pope, Robert Johns
On Tour till 29 June 2013
Runs approx. 2h 25, with one interval
Review: Alexander Ray Edser, Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, 03 June 2013
Rose tinted specs give a marvellous evening.
Although Carnaby Street was (and still is) a street, I think it’s safe to say it was one of the defining events of the 60s and the move into freedom, sexual liberation, fashion and Youth Culture. Things hadn’t ever been like this before – and they haven’t since.
The movement was fuelled, we might believe, by a druggie culture from the US and a music culture, much of it from Liverpool. Heady times indeed.
Using the flimsiest of stories CARNABY STREET sets out to capture the fab music from the period. And the songs whizz by, the show is jam-packed with them. SON OF A PREACHER MAN, SHOUT, TWIST AND SHOUT, DOO WAH DIDDY, KEEP ON RUNNING, the list goes on. Mods, Rockers, Pirate Radio, all there. The glorious rubs shoulders with the inglorious and the vainglorious. And how splendid it all is.
The show’s really carried by the seemingly boundless energy of the young company, able to give every number loads of wellie.
In this they are ably led by love interest Matthew Wycliffe (Jude) and Tricia Adele Turner (Jane) and other love interest Verity Rushworth (Penny Lane) and Mark Pearce (Wild Thing). And there’s the real showman of the piece, Paul Hazel (Lily) who can really sing and dance like a dream.
Frothy the whole thing may be, but it’s none the worse for that. And how great to hear all those songs again, so well performed; and I could sing along with each and every one.
Verity Rushworth – Penny Lane
Tricia Adele-Turner – Jane
Mark Pearce – Wild Thing
Paul Hazel – Lily the Pink
Hugo Harold-Harrison – Arnold Layne
Gregory Clarke – Al – Newspaper Seller
Keith – Craig Anderson
Chris – Jonny Bower
Vic – Tom Connor
Debs – CiCi Howells
Alicia – Lilly Howard
Stu – Claude Pelletier
Cynthia – Katie Pritchard
Dave – Mike Slader
Tommy – Dan Smith
Phoebe – Lauren Storer
Mike – Matthew Quinn
Director – Bob Tompson
Designer – Matthew Wright
Choreographer – Carole Todd
Musical Supervisor & Arrangements – Colin Cattle
Lighting Designer – Nick Richings
Sound Designer – Ben Harrison
Casting Director – Debbie O’Brien
Associate Sound Designer – Dan Samson
Musical Director – Dan Smith
Assistant Musical Director – Lilly Howard
Dance Captain – Paul Hazel