Well sung, handsomely staged and sensitively directed if LadyChatterley’s Lover had to be turned into a musical then this is about as good as it gets. Lawrence’s novel is famous, was scandalous, and now – well times change. But John Robinson has come up with a melodious score and Phil Willmott’s book works effectively enough as Constance Chatterley faces up to the fact that her husband Sir Clifford newly returned from the war is now confined to a wheel chair and sex is not part of the deal. He comes back with his batman Mellors, who gets a job on the Chatterley estate as game keeper and one thing leads to another when Constance sees him with his shirt off- the climax to Act One. Cliofford is obsessed with the need to have an heir.
Meanwhile Mellors’ wife, the Chatterley maid, lurks about dreaming of a better things and loathing the artistocracy – theirs was a forced marriage when she was thought to be pregnant – and his adoptive mother gets a job as Clifford’s nurse. Naturally he reverts to upper class nanny dependence, and she takes over running the mines he owns and which, like his father, he exploits. To be quite honest one does not care for any of them, but the cast really does sing beautifully and this impressive production, filmed on the stage of the Shaftesbury Theatre, is a worthy addition to the shows Streamed Theatre has to offer.
Georgina Lennon makes an appealing Constance, Michael Pickering, possibly too perky and chirpy, makes Mellors a lust worthy object, and Jake Halsey-Jones swans around elegantly as Cliford Chatterley’s gay chum Tommy.Stuck with the unrewarding role of Clifford, who really is anything but loveable, war damaged though he is, Sam Kipling makes the best of a difficult job and, like everyone else, sings very well.
The ingenious split level set by Andrew Exeter allows the action to shift from the Chatterley mansion to those woods where the lovers meet – no forget me nots in pubic hair though – with ease. The show, however, for all its qualities did not make me wish to go back to read the book.
Lady Chatterley: Georgina Lennon.
Mellors: Michael Pickering.
Tommy: Jake Halsey-Jones.
Clifford Chatterley: Sam Kipling.
Mrs Bolton: Emma Lindars.
Bertha: Zoe Rogers.
Director: Sasha Regan.
Musical Director: Michael Bradley.
Designer: Andrew Exeter.
Costume Designer: Jasmine Swan.
Lighting Designer: Nic Farman.
Production Photographs: Mark Senior.