Greg Last, Elliot Harper & Matthew Quinn
7 March 2011 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews The Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch has built itself a reputation for producing successful musicals, both repertoire standards and original pieces. Latest in the sequence is Stephen Wyatt’s Pick Yourself Up, for which he has cannibalised the plot from [Molière]”s Le médicin malgré lui and the music mainly from Jerome Kern and Cole Porter.
We are in a night-club somewhere in Manhattan. during the Prohibition Era of the 1930s. That is, when we’re not in a street outside the club, or in the local crime boss’ luxurious mansion. This mafioso, Joe (
Simon Jessup), has a problem. He needs to marry off his daughter Gloria ( Sarah Scowen) to a rival. But she, of course, is in love with someone else – the slightly dippy Harry ( Jared Ashe).
Meanwhile back at the club proprietor Alphonse (
Tom Jude) has not only to keep the gangsters happy but to ensure that his song-and-dance duo of Ruby ( Natasha Moore) and Tom ( Elliot Harper) don’t allow their matrimonial squabble to spill too ostentatiously onto the dance-floor. Mix in a pair of enforcer ( Matthew Quinn as Herbie and Greg Last as Louie) and Alison Harding as Joe’s duster-wielding event-manipulating maid Tallulah… well, I don’t need to tell you what mayhem ensues. But it all comes right in the end.
Julian Littman makes the most of the brass-playing, string-plucking skills of the cast. Cara Elston’s choreography slips in the occasional homage to Busby Berkeley and Fred Astaire as well as oh-so-gently! sending up aspects of this, Matt Devitt’s production keeps things moving briskly. The music is well performed; the title number, “Friendship” , "Let's misbehave" and “I’ve got you under my skin” come over aptly. One is conscious that the performers wear mikes; most of the time this is not intrusive. - by Anne Morley-Priestman Related Content
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