Wilma’s Rating ****
Friday night saw the London stage premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1955 Broadway musical Pipe Dream at the Union Theatre.
Pipe Dream comes from the writers of hit show Oklahoma and Carousel but was never a success itself on Broadway. Perhaps a run at one of London’s most loved theatres (The Union) will change all that.
Kieran Brown and Charlotte Scott are undoubtedly the strongest leads in this show, to which the love story revolves around. Both have appeared in the hit West End show Wicked and so their talent is unsurprising but pleasant to see them shine in such a different performance.
Doc (played by Kieran Brown) is a thoughtful introvert, compelled to find a medical cure in the starfish he longingly gazes at all day. When Suzy (Charlotte Scott) bursts through his door one day, Doc barely batters an eye lid but eventually sees past his jelly fish and into the eyes of Suzy.
The music and lyrics are strong and show the strengths of other cast members such as Virge Gilchrist (who gives a memorable performance of landlady Fauna). Her character could be played in many different ways but Gilchrist chooses the slightly seductive, yet kind persona. Nick Martland (Hazel) shines in his acting debut, having recently graduated from Guilford School of Acting.
Pipe Dream certainly isn’t the most complex of story lines (which knowing Rodgers and Hammerstein’s work is both a surprise and a welcome relief) it is a nice love story that you can happily sit through and watch evolve. Give me this over Carousel anyday!