The Last Five Years – St James Theatre, London – runs until 26th November 2016

Jonathan-Bailey and Samantha-Barks in The Last Five Years. Photo Credit: Matt Crockett
Jonathan-Bailey and Samantha-Barks in The Last Five Years.
Photo Credit: Matt Crockett

When I heard about this show, I thought, “Yes, at last! A new musical that I haven’t previously seen – yay!” I was so excited,and I was right to be…Also, I’d never been to St. James’ Theatre before, it’s a glorious building tucked away behind the busy roads of Victoria in Central London, it’s an oasis of ‘make-believe & glamour

Look how majestic the venue looks, even in the dark…

st_james_theatre
St James Theatre, Victoria, London SW1E 5JA

Inside the venue is pretty spectacular too. After discovering this gem, I found out that it is soon too close!  🙁  BUT will reopen in February 2017 as ‘The Other Palace – The Home of New Musical Theatre’ 🙂 – Phew!

Hearing this news, I feel privileged to have entered the venue in it’s current glory, before the re-opening, to witness any changes.

THE STORY

We learn the story of the relationship between Jamie and Cathy. Jamie an aspiring author and Cathy an aspiring actress. This story is told in a very interesting way – Jamie’s is shown to us ‘forwards’ (From the beginning) but Cathy’s story is told to us ‘backwards’ (from the end), different isn’t it?

I didn’t realise this at first and wondered why Cathy was such a ‘Debbie-downer’ Lol 😀

If you’ve ever been in a relationship you will connect to many of the situations that these two find themselves in, from the excitement of the first date, to the first serious argument and all the compromises that come with being a part of a couple.

Mainly told through amazing songs, the time-laspe in the story brings additional interest and contrast to the consecutive scenes, as the mood shifts rapidly, leaving no time for boredom.

THE SET

The stage was not too big, enough size for the cast to have ample movement and space for the relevant props that slide in and out gracefully to set up each scene.

The stage was lit with, what looked likeRomantic Moonlight’. (See photo below) This gives it a real romantic vibe.

My favourite part of the set was the fact that the live musicians were placed above the action, in full view of the audience, this added to the ‘romantic vibe’

The Last Five Years - Set
The Last Five Years – Set

The costumes used were normal day wear and there is a beautiful moment when Cathy is wearing a gorgeous wedding dress!

As I mentioned before, the props slide on and off stage to set up the scenes, for home, the bar, the park etc… Look out for the boat, it’s my favourite prop of them all <3

 

THE CAST

The cast comprises of 2 Actors, Samantha Barks (Cathy) and Jonathan Bailey (Jamie).  Both very attractive and great actors with impressive C.V’s.

Samantha was a finalist on BBC 1’s “I’d Do Anything”, then went on to play ‘Nancy’ in Cameron Mackintosh’s ‘Oliver’, she’s best known as ‘Eponine’ in Les Miserables.

Jonathan, best known for playing ‘Olly Stevens’ in ITV’s “Broadchurch” he has also starred in Doctor Who (BBC) W1A (BBC) amongst others and is will appear in the next series of ‘Michaela Cohen’s Chewing Gum‘ on E4.

The first thing you notice about Samantha, is that she has an absolutely amazing voice and Jamie has incredible comic timing, with my background in Musical Theatre training, I know how hard it is to portray emotion and character through song, let alone humor.

Cathy is a likeable character and I understood her frustrations, but felt she was a little unfair to Jamie, I just wanted her to be happy for him!

Jamie is so full of optimism, and I love that, but I suppose, it’s easy to be optimistic when things are going so well for you, but I love that he still encouraged Cathy to pursue her dreams.

They make a great couple, but like most couples,the situations and circumstances of life get in the way sometimes.

It’s easy to see how down to earth they both are in real life – Check out this video of the Last Five Years Photoshoot…

 

MY THOUGHTS

I loved the score!! Jason Robert-Brown is a musical genius – All the songs are amazing – I really need to get the soundtrack, seriously.

Some of the songs make you laugh out loud and others will have your heart breaking.

I enjoyed the complexity of the story structure and the great performances by Samantha and Jonathan, and of course the String musicians are a wonderful touch.

I recommend you see this if you are looking for a new musical to fall in love with 🙂

Grab a ticket before it’s too late!

FRIDAY 28 OCTOBER – SATURDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2016

ST. JAMES THEATRE

12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA

Performances: Monday – Saturday 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm

Tickets: £10.00 – £59.50 (from 3 November)

Box Office: www.stjamestheatre.co.uk | 0844 264 2140

Chanel 🙂

Chanel Williams

the_last_five_years_poster

 

 

Leave a Reply