Two couples face a landmark day in their relationships Tomorrow Morning, in the new musical by Laurence Mark Wythe. While the 20 somethings (Emma Williams and Stephen Ashfield) are preparing for their wedding day, a couple ten years older (Annette McLaughlin and Alistair Robins) are about to divorce.
Wythe’s score is enjoyable, with some hummable tunes and a very contemporary musical theatre feel, with strong influences of Stephen Sondheim and Jason Robert Brown – in fact, at times a little too strong, as there are several “where have I heard this before?” moments.
But some sense of familiarity can be a good thing – particularly in the commercial West End, where this show could well be headed. The overall feel of the music is fresh and upbeat, with enough variation in style to be interesting (tangos, ballads, comedy), though perhaps unchallenging.
The book, also by Wythe, is witty and poignant, with Act One full of light-heartedness and promise, and Act Two a bit of a tear-jerker. Wythe manages to stay just the right side of sentimentality, with all the characters wondering throughout the musical whether they are doing the right thing, and all coming to a satisfying conclusion.
All four cast members are West End stalwarts and the quality of their performances is very high – they have fantastic voices and ensure the audience really cares what becomes of their characters - under the directorship of Nick Winston, who manages to manoeuvre the quartet comfortably around the tiny stage in Philip Witcomb’s effective set, well lit by David Holmes.
With some tightening up of both the book and score, Tomorrow Morning could see itself added to the ever-growing list of new West End musicals popping up this year.
- Caroline Ansdell