Apartment 40C – St James Studio
I felt quite fortunate to be able to catch the very short run of this critically acclaimed new musical. At one of my favourite London venues for only a week, I caught a mid-week matinee having not been able to get a ticket for the evening due to such a high demand.
Written by Artistic Directors of London Theatre Workshop, Ray Rackham (book and lyrics) and Tom Lees (music), this new musical follows the story of a couple from their first meeting to their last and intertwines the three stages of their lives.
Although a little difficult to follow at the start, this engaging and sumptuously heart warming tale of one couple’s relationship through the years is everything it should be. Funny, charming and at times terribly painful, this show gives you a very real account of human connections and their ups and downs.
The score is absolutely gorgeous with songs you feel have always known and lyrics which take you through the story with ease and sensitivity.
Playing young Eddie and Katie, Alex James Ellison and Alex Crossley respectively were adorable, with a raw naivety to their performances and a wholly believable chemistry. Crossley sang well with great confidence and Ellisons cute portrayal carefully showed the endearing side to this character.
With the middle couple the story really ignites. Lizzie Wofford and Johnjo Flynn both put in stellar performances. Wofford’s voice has a very soulful edge and her ‘I wait’ was my highlight of Act 1. It took until Act 2 for Flynn to properly show his metal but his ‘Midnight Hours’ was truly exceptional.
Older Edward, Peter Gerald and Kathryn, Nova Skipp shared some heartbreaking moments as the estranged couple and I was in floods during their shared moments of grief.
The characters took a bit of development through Act 1, but by Act 2 we were able to see into their relationships and share their expectations, fears and then loss.
This is a wonderfully clever piece of musical theatre which I hope will be developed further so more people will be able to experience it.
Reviewed by Nicky Sweetland
Photo: Matthew Lees
Apartment 40C is playing at the St James Studio until 12 April 2015. For more information and to book tickets click here
The show premiered in December 2014 at the London Theatre Workshop. Click here to review the review