Five incredible reasons to see The Last Five Years at Southwark Playhouse
Find out why you should see the five-star revival of Jason Robert Brown's hit musical
We asked director Jonathan O'Boyle (The View UpStairs, Hair) to give us five reasons to be excited about this five-star revival of the extraordinary musical at Southwark Playhouse.
1. It's written by the brilliant Jason Robert Brown
Though the composer has written musical smashes such as 13 and Bridges Over Madison County, The Last Five Years is arguably Jason Robert Brown's most iconic score. In our production, we've given the show a new twist by casting two incredible actor-musicians as Cathy and Jamie - Molly Lynch and Oli Higginson.
2. It's packed with wall-to-wall hit songs
The Last Five Years is packed full of brilliant songs and encompasses a whole range of musical styles. From ballads such as "Still Hurting" and "See I'm Smiling" to the upbeat "Moving Too Fast", there's even a Klezmer number in "The Schmuel Song"!
Watch Molly Lynch performing the beautiful opening number "Still Hurting":
3. It has an unusual form
Just like Sondheim and Furth's Merrily We Roll Along and Pinter's Betrayal, The Last Five Years plays with form. While Jamie's story is told chronologically, Cathy's is told in reverse, with the pair's timelines crossing only once – at their wedding. This unusual form allows us to delve into the complexities of love and relationships.
4. The cast
Molly Lynch* (Wasted, The Light in the Piazza) and Oli Higginson (The Haystack) not only sing and act Brown's score beautifully, but also play it. With new arrangements by George Dyer, they accompany each other on the piano throughout, adding a different dynamic to the show. Alongside a live four-piece band, Brown's score is as rich as ever!
*Lydia White (a recipient of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Scholarship with credits including Chess and CinderELLA at Nuffield Southampton Theatres) will join Oli Higginson while Molly Lynch is signed off with illness.
Watch the pair in action in our video of "See I'm Smiling":
5. Lee Newby's design
I love working with Lee. He has a great understanding of how to serve a show, plus he has great taste; his slick and classy design is a real gem. We also use a revolve in the production (a first for Southwark Playhouse), which we use to help heighten the musical's form. The characters are seemingly orbiting each other, in different worlds, unable to communicate.
With these five reasons to see the five-star The Last Five Years, be sure to book your tickets today!
Must end 28 March – do not miss it.