THE DISTANCE YOU HAVE COME
A song cycle by Scott Alan.
The Cockpit, Gateforth Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH to 28 October 2018.
Tues-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sun 3pm.
Runs 2hr One interval.
TICKETS: 020 7258 2925
Review: William Russell 19 October.
Love and heartbreak in the park
Let’s be quite clear, that third star is for the talented cast who work their cotton socks off to bring this ultimately rather dreary journey to a successful conclusion. The problem is, however one regards the songs, some of which Scott Alan has used elsewhere, by calling it a song cycle he has avoided having a book. This is a mistake. There is no reason to want to find out what happens to the random collection of people who assemble in a park and whose paths may or may not cross. The songs, with possibly the exception of His Name, an amusing point number about a girl who has forgotten the name of last night’s lover and since her using it excited him cannot call him again, performed with verve by Jodie Jacobs, are mostly to be lachrymose in the extreme.
Things are not helped by the accompaniment of piano and a violin. Well played though the music is there is just so much cat gut scraping one can take.
We meet a girl auditioning for a role in a musical, two gay guys who fall in love, get married and decide to have a baby, a couple of lesbians whose affair does not prosper – later one gets pregnant and guess who gets the baby – and a mournful man with a drink problem. Emma Hatton belts out her audition number splendidly, Alexia Khadime is impressive as the impregnated lesbian, and Andy Coxon and Adrian Hansel make the gay romance very amusing to follow, while as the man on the downward slope Dean John-Wilson warbles very well indeed and gets his shirt taken off in a dream sequence surrounded by masked furies revealing a six pack as well toned as his vocal chords.
Ms Jacobs as the slightly more mature Lesbian comes off best, possibly because she gets the better songs, even if she does end up, a Lesbian no more, with Mr John-Wilson now an alcoholic reformed.
The set is charming and the lighting effective but director Scott Alan really has to grasp that if you stage something in the round you must keep your cast on the move so that they perform to all four corners of the globe. There were far too many moments when all one sees are backs. I am not sure it is worth travelling the distance for, but as a try out provided lessons are learned maybe someday it will.
Brian: Andy Coxon
Samuel: Adrian Hansel.
Maisey: Emma Hatton.
Anna: Jodie Jacobs.
Joe: Dean John-Wilson.
Laura: Alexia Khadine.
Director: Scott Alan.
Musical Director: Scott Morgan.
Set & Costume Designer: Simon Daw.
Lighting Designer: Andrew Ellis.
Production Photography: Darren Bell.