Last Five Years

The focus in this studio production is on the music and on the actor’s voices: Jason Robert Brown’s jazz pop score and our double-star combo can hardly fail to please! Every song is a single, and I’ve been singing Still Hurting ever since the performance.The Last Five Years is the story of the rise and fall of a relationship between Cathy a failing actress and Jamie a successful novelist. The two characters move independently across the timeline of the story, taking it in turns to sing and only coinciding once in a duet at the centre of the musical when the couple get married. Telling the story twice isn’t such a smart idea in the world of restless Fringe audiences and Brown’s highly-unified musical language on a single piano exacerbated the problem in this production.Ben Cork demonstrates an enviable singing talent as Jamie. The fabulous sound in all of his range (even falsetto) a treat to hear at the end of the festival when so many performer’s voices are tired. His humour and interaction with the audience are wonderful, but sometimes he is too large for the space and runs the risk of dwarfing his partner. Tabitha Tingey’s character nevertheless comes through loud and clear in a mature understated style which has the audience weeping during A Part of That. Although it left a few gaps in the story, the directorial focus on the singing certainly paid off in these two musical performances: for great singing and wonderful music this production really is the place to go! And you will cry.

Reviews by James T. Harding

Pleasance Courtyard

Creatives

★★
Bedlam Theatre

The Duck Pond

★★★★★

The Blurb

A one-act musical exploring the emotional turmoil of a relationship between an aspiring writer and a struggling actress. The beautiful score and incredibly poignant storyline will linger in your thoughts days after leaving the auditorium.