The Simon & Garfunkel Story, Lyric London, 4****: William Russell



By Dean Elliott


Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES Monday evenings only until 13 August 2018. Then on tour and back at the Vaudeville Theatre in the Strand in November for a week’s run.

Mon 7.30pm.

Runs 2hr 20 mins One interval.

TICKETS: 0330 333 4812.

Review: William Russell 23 July.

A tribute with the making with added trimmings

As tribute shows go this one devised and directed by Dean Elliott is undeniably very good indeed. It has the advantage of one of the greatest back catalogues in popular music plus the undeniably talented Philip Murray Watson as Simon and Charles Blyth as Art who perform splendidly, even if the hapless Mr Blyth is saddled with what has to be the worst haircut ever. Art had peculiar hair but not this peculiar. The backing musicians are also first rate, the whole production – which has toured all over the world – is as slick as slick can be. The only snag is that their story is dead boring.

The pair met at school, performed as Tom and Jerry with little success, went back to school, graduated, and , performing under their own names, rose to success first flirting with rock and roll, then folk song and finally their own brand of music with sales soaring. They toured and toured and eventually fell out, having tired of one another and wanting, it would seem, more individuality, then reunited, Arty flirted with Hollywood, they grew old and that is about it, although Paul Simon on his own turned up recently to resuscitate memories of his glory days half a century ago with a concert in Hyde Park.

As to why they fell out that is not something, if indeed one is interested in knowing, provided by the anodyne script. One could actually just buy their records and enjoy them at home, but there is something about being with an audience clapping along and relishing memories of its youth which gives the whole that that added ingredient. So sit back, enjoy the performances and the music. If one cannot have the real thing this will do very nicely. The best thing about the evening, however is the screen behind them on which are projected the ways of the world during their rise to fame. In Act One it is absolutely fascinating to watch, a pot pourri of memories. Sadly someone lost interest in compiling it because in Act Two we get far too many dud pictures of the famous pair which only emphasise that we are not actually watching people who look like them, even if they have mastered their sound.

Paul Simon: Philip Murray Watson.

Art Garfunkel: Charles Blyth.

At certain performance Sam O’Hanlon is Simon & Joe Sterling is Art.

Keyboards & Electric Guitar: Adam Smith.

Bass: Leon Camfield.

Drums: Mat Swales.

Director: Dean Elliott.

Sound Design: Graham Penn & Chris Crowther.

Lighting Design: Dean Elliott & Preece Killick.

Video Design: Josh Woods.

Photos: Jacqui Elliot-Williams, Stuart Man Price & Angela Crawford.


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