A MUST SEE...............I NEED SAY NO MORE. I GO TO THEATRE 3 TO 4 TIMES EVERY WEEK AND THIS IS AN AMAZING SHOW.
SHOULD BE IN THE WEST END!!! - Jackie
26 Mar 10
I’m used to low Audience:Performer ratios at the Union Theatre, but this one is 2:1 with a full house – and they’re all so young, I actually aged several years in two hours. Phil Wilmott’s musical is a love story set in that (in)famous Liverpool hotel which switches (rather confusingly and a bit clumsily, I thought) between the 20’s / 30’s and now. It’s a simple tale with some Adelphi myths woven in – cowboy Roy Rodgers and his horse on the hotel roof and a trainee Nazi in the kitchens! I’m sure I’m being scouse-ist, but it reminded me of Blood Brothers, with musical themes recurring and the old Alice looking rather like Mrs Johnstone. The positioning of the band between the two banks of seats meant they drowned out (well, at least from where I was sitting) a lot of the solo vocals, though the chorus singing was excellent. The fact that the entire cast seemed teenagers meant you had to suspend belief even more than usual with a musical. The design coup was the back of an illuminated HOLLYWOOD-like hotel sign, though this did restrict the already restricted playing area; apart from that they seem to have spent the rest (plus most of their salaries, I’d say) on a huge number of costumes. It’s not a great show, but it’s one of that endangered species, a NEW MUSICAL, and it’s in a lovely theatre, so you have to go! - Gareth James
22 Mar 10
I absolutely hated every minute of this musical. The terrible accents and 'Scouse protaganist must be a theif' offensive. The worst thing I have seen at the Union. Don't bother, I left at the interval! - T Carney
15 Mar 10
This musical is thoroughly entertaining. Beautiful, energetic, uplifting and sentimental without being mawkish. Go and see it - you can watch a fantastic cast perform in an intimate space. Why isn't this on in the West End? It's time to get rid of the deadwood and bring in the fresh blood - this is an original British musical that deserves attention. Love it! - Paul Webster
11 Mar 10
I came to watch this musical last (Sunday) night and can honestly say that, like DSG below, having been to see Love Never Dies in previews and therefore losing all hope for the future of new musical theatre I came to Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi with low expectations. However, having missed the show in Liverpool and hearing good things, I was curious enough to go. I can say in all honesty that the show renewed my faith in the genre. So often it is claimed that the British new musical is so inferior to that of its counterpart coming over from America. Go and see Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi and realise that those making this assumption are wrong. The writing is spot on; Wilmott's story is moving, beautiful in fact, the ending causing half of the audience to reach for multipacks of Kleenex. And what a phenomenal cast. Lead by JP Hevey and Rebecca Hutchinson, this cast is a force to be reckoned with. Fearless dance routines choreographed by the extremely taleted Andrew Wright (I bought a programme!) were executed brilliantly in this tiny studio space. The acting was top notch, Hevey, Hutchinson and Holmes deserving of especial mentions for their outstanding performances in the lead roles. The music is wonderfully memorable and from the band, lead by Michael Bradley, the music swells in the Union, a space in which I normally find unmiked singing especially doesn't carry well. So in short - the show last night was oversold with audience having to sit in, as box office quoted "emergency" seating, so get your tickets now - I know many people that I will be sending down to the Union - it will sell out. - Nina Wattson
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