Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Close To you - Criterion Theatre

I left this production thinking ‘wow, is there any song that Bacharach didn’t have a hand in?’  Around thirty of his songs (including Walk on By, Magic Moments, I’ll never Fall In Love Again, What’s New Pussycat) are reworked against a backdrop of suspended guitars, old lamps and sofas, giving it the feel of something out of the 70’s. A few audience members are given their five minutes of fame as they sit on the sofas on stage throughout the show. Some seated around me found it difficult to watch in silence so there was the occasional outburst of singing.
There’s no doubt that the seven strong cast are highly talented singers and musicians but with no dialog and no real ‘performance’ as such, it did beg the question as to whether this is actual ‘theatre’. There’s the odd interjection of drama; a cast member reads and then tears up an old letter but just how it fits in with the song is unclear.  
Though lacking drama on stage, I did experience a theatre first. Three minutes into the second half the house lights came up and a member of crew appeared on stage to say we had to evacuate the building. Information was very slow in coming forward. Apparently a fire alarm had been activated so we waited idly outside for about twenty minutes, next to the fire truck, before being allowed back in for the continuation. By this time almost a quarter of the audience had left but the show continued on with just as much energy as the first half.

CloseTo You can be seen @ Criterion Theatre until 10th January