15 January 2017
Reviewed by Amanda Hayes
My husband and I set off to Tunbridge Wells Assembly hall on what was a very dreary Sunday night looking forward to a relaxing evening listening to The Simon & Garfunkel story.
The show opened with a stunning rendition of The Sound of Silence and Sam O’Hanlon (Paul Simon) and Charles Blyth (Art Garfunkel) then took us through the years from when the boys met at school, their first band, Tom & Jerry and onwards to their massive hit album Bridge Over Troubled Water. The story is told in a light hearted and enjoyable way throughout but it is the music takes precedence not the narrative. Throughout the show the screen shows film clips and photographs of the friend’s lives and articles from the era, further bringing the story to life.
The evening continued with classics such as Hazy Shade of Winter, Mrs Robinson, Scarborough Fair and Cecilia. The show ended with a rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water so spellbinding that it made shivers go down my spine, followed by a fabulous closing piece, The Boxer. A well-deserved standing ovation followed.
We certainly were not disappointed with the performance, the duo’s harmonies were pitch perfect, the music captivating in its simplicity and the story, although sad in places was told with warmth and feeling.
We had a great evening, the singing was fantastic and very authentic and there was a great mix of slow melodic songs and upbeat folk style tunes that had the audience clapping and foot tapping. The bass player Leon Camfield was superb and really brought the tracks to life. In fact, all three backing players were excellent and really looked like they were enjoying themselves.
The sound as always in Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall was excellent, the staff prompt and courteous, and the venue clean and tidy. Even though the auditorium was packed there was plenty of spaces in multi storey car park next door which only charges only £1.00 per night. Although it’s a pleasure to watch anything here I wholeheartedly recommend The Simon & Garfunkel story for a great night out. It was the perfect remedy for a rainy Sunday night.
The Simon & Garfunfel Story is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.thesimonandgarfunkelstory.com.
For other shows at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells visit www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk.
Assembly Hall Theatre, Crescent Rd, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2LU | 01892 530613