Many stories, shows and musicals have some form of love intertwined within the tale – let’s face it, love is an emotion that we all show some resonance with at some stage of our lives. In Romance Romance, the theme of love is so prominent that there is no chance you can watch the production without feeling something tugging at your heartstrings.
Romance Romance started off-Broadway way back in 1987, and then moved on to Broadway the following year, with book and lyrics written by Barry Harman and music by Keith Herrmann. It has also been played in the West End at the Gielgud Theatre and now it has moved on to the fantastic Above The Stag Theatre in Vauxhall, under the direction of Steven Dexter (Loserville) and Musical Staging by Summer Strallen, who is also the Assistant Director. This time though, we see two of the main roles genders switched, which leads to a genius gay love story.
The Above The Stag is an incredible theatre that has earned rave reviews recently not just for its productions, but also for its decor and offerings. It has won multiple awards and has a focus on producing LGBT themed work including new writing, musicals and revivals, and is the only full-time professional LGBT theatre in the UK.
This all-male cast of four is, in fact, two completely different musicals that are just joined together by an interval and one reprise. The first act, which is called ‘The Little Comedy’ sees two well off gentlemen who, to find love, disguise themselves as paupers. Eventually, they find each other. The Little Comedy is a genius rendition of Arthur Schnitzler’s short story of the same name. This first act is incredibly funny, and its enjoyable narrative sees Jordan Lee Davies put on a truly wonderful comic performance. By his side, the vocals of Blair Robertson are a sight, and sound, to behold and really make the act.
After the interval, we get to see ‘Summer Share’ which is even more enjoyable than the first act. Best friends Sam (played by Alex Lodge) and Jeremy (Ryan Anderson) go along with their husbands for a long weekend break and over time the sexual tension breaks boiling point!
The gender switching, if anything, has added a whole new narrative to the original wonderful writing and audiences of any standing will find this a joy to behold. The ever-running theme of love, lust and desire will never be lost and if anything has been amplified by the all-male cast.
David Shield has worked incredibly well to design the space to near enough perfection and the orchestra that sits behind the main stage allow for some toe-tapping numbers and solos that really take you away on the notes of love.
Overall, Romance Romance is a production that will never fail to let you down – it is more than just a take on a love story and there is certainly something within each story that resonates deep in the heart of any audience member.
Book your tickets here: www.abovethestag.com