by Chris Burgess.

The Landor 70 Landor Road SW9 9PH To 12 May 2013.
Tue–Thu; Sat 7.30pm Fri 7pm Mat Sat & Sun 3pm.
Runs 2hr 15min One interval.

TICKETS:0207 737 7278.
Review: William Russell 22 April.

Some Aspects of Love; a lovely surprise.
Two couples, a well off businessman, his trophy wife once a high-flier but now nursing twins, a bank manager facing redundancynd his wife, with her sixteen year old son, each get given a free holiday in a villa in Spain by an old friend. When they arrive they discover they have been double-booked. Things are complicated by the presence of the rich couple’s nanny, and more complicated by the fact that the rich man and the banker’s wife were a couple some ten years previously and neither spouse knows of their past.

Will they reignite the relationship? Both marriages are in trouble. Will the sixteen year old get laid by the au pair? Will she seduce the banker, who was once briefly a rock star?

Chris Burgess has come up with a charming score, the book, based on a novel by Sophie Kinsella, is better than most musical books, and the cast of six are very good indeed. Maybe Burgess’s music suffers from the curse of Sondheim which is to set long speeches to a melody so that the tune trickles along without ever acquiring the status of a song. In the second act he has come up with two more or less stand-alone numbers which make the point.

One is – Why do we put up with women? sung by the husbands – the answer is Because being without them is worse. The other is a splendid raunchy take-me-clothes-off number for the trophy wife, ‘The Day Superwoman Died’. Lilza Pulman as Amanda, the antenatal depressed wife, gives it her all. Jenny Gayner is splendid as the sensible Chloe, Steven Serlin good as the distinctly iffy rich Hugh, a self-centred soul who learns a thing or two, and there is a lovely, sexy couldn’t-care-less-about-the-lot-of-you-because-I-am-off-travelling-again performance by Sabrina Alouche as the au pair.

I’m not sure Grant Neal is convincing as a one-hit rock god, but he makes the banker worried about his future touching, and Adam Pettigrew suffers the agonies of being a sixteen year old virgin amusingly.

It all ends happily by the way. How is worth finding out. Smartly directed by Robert McWhir, Sleeping Arrangements is good enough to have a life after the Landor.

Chloe: Jenny Gayner.
Philip: Grant Neal.
Amanda: Liza Pulman.
Hugh: Steven Serlin.
Jenna: Sabrina Aloueche.
Sam: Adam Pettigrew.

Director: Robert McWhir.
Designer/Costume: David Shields.
Lighting: Ben M. Rogers.
Musical Director: Colin Billing.

2013-04-24 15:19:26

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