Following a very short run (side-eye glance at you Covid) at The Barn Theatre, MMAL has been made available to stream online and folks, if I were you, I would definitely purchase your tickets pronto. This is a wonderful one hour piece, highly entertaining, featuring the stunning partnering of Celinde Schoenmaker and Rob Houchen, mirroring each other in perfect synchronicity in both acting and, in particular, vocal skills.
What do you when you are broken-hearted on a Saturday night? Clean out your sock drawer, spend time with your friend Jack Daniels and Ron Bacardi? You thrash it out all to the tune of a Sondheim classic; in this case is it is the story being set to the music and not the easiest to sing, however, Houchen and Schoenmaker make easy pickings of it with a huge dollop of justice added in for good measure. The beauty of feeling transported through a seven-inch screen into their respective houses and, in particular, in the song Bang, it felt like I had been transported from an opera house to a dark, dingy back street jazz club with cigarette smoke whirling all around me and I soaked up every heady moment of it.
There is always the difficulty with a two-handed show that it would need a very strong pairing – if one actor were weaker than the other – then the impact would be lost given that the weaker partner would have nowhere (literally and figuratively) to hide. This pairing had no such problems; the casting could hardly have been better. My only complaint? (A) that it wasn’t longer than an hour and (B) that I didn’t get to see it live. This is a show that is a masterclass in acting and singing and would sit very nicely in any West End Theatre.
Review: Kay Johal Photo: Eve Dunlop