20 March 2016
Reviewed by Katy Nettleton
Tell Me on a Sunday is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Don Black. A one-act song cycle, it tells the story of an ordinary English girl from Muswell Hill, who journeys to the United States in search of love.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this musical; lately I have been to large scale musicals with supporting acts and didn’t know what the experience would be like for a single performer so it’s hard to say if it met my expectations but it was a really good show.
The song choices were brilliant and if I had the chance I would have been singing along in my monotone voice!
This one woman show was led by Jodie Prenger whose voice is amazing, but for me it was more than her voice which brought the show alive it was her acting and love for her character, Emma. The way in which she moved across the stage (the staging was a simplified New York scene with a flat (or an apartment in the upper side of New York!)) to tell her beloved off for dumping her or the way in which she acted when writing to her parents was effortless and made you (at times) feel like she was really in her flat and you forgot you were watching a show rather than a television production. What amazed me – which will sound silly to those who have seen many musicals or shows is that I loved the way when she was “talking” she was actually singing – it wasn’t just about belting out numbers but feeling the words and relating to them.
The staging truly supported the story of unrequited love and a single woman lost in a new City and Country trying to find her way to happiness. The 24 songs told the story beautifully and you could not fault her voice on any of these, she brought goose bumps to each and every audience member’s arms with her portrayal of this loveable character which was aided by her strong vocal range.
I’m not going to name all the songs as it would spoil the evening but you will not be disappointed, my personal favourite was Nothing Like You’ve Ever Known.
There was a short interval after Act 1 with the second Act being a post-show conversation about Jodie, her roles and also musical theatre. Questions were welcomed from the audience and Jodie answered these happily and her true love for musical theatre came out. Jodie is a warm, fun loving person who doesn’t take life too seriously but you can tell really wants to perfect her art and be the best and she will stop at nothing to excelling and getting her dream roles. This determination is thought provoking and made me think about what I want from my future and aren’t we all a little lost at some time, whether this be in a new city or new love or just what life has to offer.
As part of Act two there was an opportunity to hear the understudy’s voice (Jodie Beth) and for me I would have loved to hear her sing more than 1 song. Her voice was amazing, there is no need for any more words as this just sums it up! Together Jodie Prenger and Jodie Beth made a beautiful duet and one I would love to see in another show.
I did think that Act 2 was not really needed, and for me I would be happy to see Tell Me On A Sunday as an appetiser for another show, or for it to be a short production. I did enjoy “getting to know” Jodie but it wasn’t something I would have booked the show to go and see. If however there was local drama groups, or students attending I can understand this and the social benefit. Sorry; I am sure many people would love this but for me it a little extra that was not really needed. That’s the beauty of the Arts – it’s subjective and means different things to different people so I am sure that this will be strongly disagreed with!
Overall I really enjoyed my evening and was transported around America and grew to love Emma. I would give this 4½ out of 5 and recommend anyone who enjoys musicals to go and see Tell Me On A Sunday – Its Nothing Like You’ve Ever Known (or seen before!”).
Tell Me On A Sunday is currently on tour around the UK, for more information or to book tickets at a venue near you visit www.tellmeontour.co.uk.
For other shows at the Regent Theatre in Stoke visit www.atgtickets.com/regent-theatre.
Regent Theatre, Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 1AP | 0844 871 7649