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You can’t stop the boats: Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea @ParkTheatre

Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea by Italian playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi and translated by Marco Young, has made a topical return to London at the Park Theatre after playing earlier this summer at the Seven Dials Playhouse. In a week when leaders and leaders in waiting were talking about illegal immigration, it seemed like a topical choice . It also has one hell of an evocative title. The piece opens with Adriano Celantano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol , which sets the scene for what we are about to see. After all, a song about communication barriers seems perfect for a play about people trafficking and illegal immigration. One side doesn’t understand why they happen, and the other still comes regardless of the latest government announcement / slogan .  However, the twist here is that the crossing is undertaken the other way. People are fleeing Europe instead of escaping war or poverty in Africa or the Middle East. It’s set sometime in the not-too-distant future. There is a crisis causing p

Make a pot roast: The World Goes 'Round - the songs of Kander and Ebb @St_JamesTheatre

After catching The World Goes Round, it is easy to appreciate the breadth of writing from composers and lyricist John Kander and Fred Ebb. In the days since catching it, many of the songs have become ear worms. Who would have thought a song about two women comparing their lives (and singing about pot roast) could do that? No doubt it is due to the fine music making on stage.

The show includes songs from their best known works, Cabaret and Chicago. But it also includes many other songs from lesser known shows. And songs that might have been lost are now given the chance to shine.

It is a lot of songs in to get through in one evening but the show never drags during its nearly two hour duration. Helping the proceedings along are the performers assembled for the evening and each are given their moment.

The four piece band assembled under the music direction of Kris Rawlinson gives a strong foundation to the evening.

The ever-reliable Debbie Kurup opens the show with the title number and blows the audience away. It doesn't let up with many other highlights. Oliver Thompsett  gives a sublime interpretation of I Don’t Remember You.

Stefan Lloyd-Evans delivers a light and delicate rendition of the song Sara Lee. The song is about a man’s obsession with pastries. It is hilarious even if you find it hard to believe (given his physique) he is a man who spends his life eating brioche.

Sally Samad gets brassy with the song about having a man in the afternoon. And Alexandra Da Silva gives the audience several comic turns in the evening. A particular highlight being Ring Them Bells, taking a song written for Liza Minelli and making it her own.

At times it looks it looks a little crowded on stage. But what it lacks in choreography and staging, is made up with some intricate harmonies and fine music making that blow the audience away.

The World Goes Round, produced by Neil Eckersley, runs at the St James Studio until Sunday. It would be great to see some of these shows restaged sometime in London, but in the meantime, there is The World Goes Round...


Photos by Tiffany Slagle

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