In keeping with the current recent trend for Andrew Lloyd Webber musical revivals – the national touring production of Chess and The Menier Chocolate Factory recent production of Aspects of Love – it’s the turn this time of the 1979 hit Tell Me on a Sunday.
This tells the story of an ordinary English girl looking for love in the Big Apple and who merrily whizzes through a series of romances, each one more tragically doomed then the last.
Brookside Babe turned West End diva Claire Sweeney plays the lovelorn heroine, effortlessly belting out Lloyd Webber’s catchy numbers while making more costume changes than Lady Gaga.. As the break-ups mount and Sweeney sends yet another email update to her mum back in Liverpool. the format soon becomes tedious. It’s hard to care about a woman whose only point of reference in life is Men and whether she has met the right one.
With almost no set changes for the whole of the 90 minutes, despite a quick trip to LA and New York, it is a theatrically unimaginative show. Maybe one of Sweeney’s infamous 60-minute makeovers wouldn’t go amiss here.
However, Lloyd Webber’s score and Don Black’s lyrics are wistful, wry, and emotionally charged. “Take That Look Off Your Face” and the show’s title song send a wave of goose-bumps through the audience. Sweeney’s charm and stage presence thankfully lifts what is essentially a limp and mildly irritating show to being a fun frivolous girls’ night out.