After You is written by Alex Parker and Katie Lam, directed by Alastair Knights and starring Liam Doyle and Laura Tebbutt. With a star-studded cast and creative team like that, expectations are high, but unfortunately it falls short.
Alex Parker’s music is stunning. With only a four piece band, led by the very talented Musical Director Issac McCullough, his melodies are heart warming and full of life. Unfortunately, this is let down by Katie Lam’s predictable yet unmemorable lyrics alongside a rather weak book.
The show is only at a one hour format, but the stakes are low and not a lot happens. Liam Doyle and Laura Tebbutt play Chris and Sarah, two people who unexpectedly meet in the bar Chris is performing in. Ignoring one small plot twist – if you can call it that, it is hugely predictable – the show is them singing about their feelings and ‘falling in love’. I left feeling like I had seen an hour of the same duet sung repeatedly, which is a shame as the overture was so powerful that it sets you up to expect more.
Tebbutt’s voice is gorgeous and she does the best that she can to create a complicated character in Sarah but there is often only so much an actor can do. Doyle struggles more, his Chris coming across clunky and he doesn’t take charge of the songs as much as Tebbutt does.
I think the show has potential; the music is in a great place. However, I think the book and lyrics need a second look. There are so many phenomenal new musicals on at the moment, it needs a rewrite if it wants to keep up.
Reviewed by Izzie Johnson