Review Round-Ups

Did Seven Brides for Seven Brothers woo the critics?

Rachel Kavanaugh’s production runs at the Open Air Theatre until 29 August

Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage


"Rachel Kavanaugh's revival, with some stunning, balletic choreography by Alistair David, proves mostly irresistible, though never a classic."

"Hairy and uncouth, Gaumond's too damned nice to dislike, and he's soon charming the lips off his prey, Laura Pitt-Pulford's Milly."

"Good work as ever, though, by musical supervisor and dance music arranger Gareth Valentine, musical director Stephen Ridley and designer Peter McKintosh who manages to convey both town and remote farm by dressing two giant flat pack wooden structures on a broad open stage backed with elegant tree trunks to complement the natural setting."

Michael Billington, The Guardian


"Laura Pitt-Pulford endows the far-from-modern Milly with the right dogged determination, and Alex Gaumond even manages to find a few redemptive qualities in the Petruchio-like figure of Adam."

"It says a lot for Kavanaugh’s production that, when Adam sings "A Woman Ought to Know Her Place", it seems less like a crude manifesto than the cry of a man in crisis."

"But in the end it’s the choreography, which rivals anything on the London stage, that makes this a musical worth reviving."

Claire Allfree, Daily Telegraph


"Kavanaugh’s revival neither glosses over the antediluvian gender politics nor attempts a revisionist resolution and if you can take it on its own terms, this is a joyful evening."

"The evident chemistry between Alex Gaumond’s Adam and Pitt-Pulford is one of the many instances where Kavanaugh counters the absurdities of the plot with a palpable emotional truth."

"The back stage live band serves up an irresistible soundscape of foot-tapping twang and thrum. And even I found myself humming "Bless Your Beautiful Hide" all the way home."

Tom Wicker, Time Out


"This musical classic is possibly the least feminist thing that has ever happened, but still good fun."

"This show’s gender politics are so all over the map they’re practically in another universe, as the script winks at itself while an outraged Milly – a predictably great Pitt-Pulford, doing wonders with the role – writes the smallest footnote ever to feminism by making the brothers wait until spring before they can court the girls."

"What saves it is director Rachel Kavanaugh’s cannily self-aware, Golden Age-evoking Technicolor-hued production, which steers into the skid of all the potential appallingness."

Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard


"The Open Air Theatre is so delightfully good at revivals of classic musicals that its offerings in this department have become a firm fixture on the summer cultural calendar."

"Seven Brides continues on this triumphant path in Rachel Kavanaugh’s playful, confident production. All this despite some of the most dubious gender politics — and there’s a lot to choose from."

"The ensemble dances up a storm and Gaumond and Pitt-Pulford, an increasingly notable musical theatre performer, make an engaging leading pair. It’s also great fun to watch Kavanaugh’s sly insinuation of the brothers’ increasing sexual frustration."

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers runs at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre until 29 August.