If you revel in the musicality of the 1930s, take pleasure in performance poetry or wish to be swept away with some old world charm, then push the boat out and go see this show. If not, then you’ll be yearning for a ship to appear on the horizon to sail you home quickly.
David Bottomley’s one-man show is billed as a ‘Message in a Bottle- David Bottomley's Tribute to Destert Island Discs’. In truth, this is a little misleading as although a brief history of the famous BBC Radio show is covered early in the evening, it is, in short, a show about key moments of Bottomley’s life, told through his own choice of discs and some attractive self written poetry.
It’s not a particularly interesting life story, nor are the musical choices that varied, but what Bottomley brings to the stage is a show which exudes much charm. From the moment he steps on stage with his rather mismatched clothes; slightly ill fitting trousers and garish yellow and orange socks (all of which I suspect are chosen on purpose), you do fall under the spell of his appealingly awkward charm and abundance of warmth. His voice is soothing and soporific and his story, although not particularly captivating, just manages to sustain the hour.
Not only did Bottomley write this piece, he also sings and plays the piano too, rendering us with the musical and lyrical gems of Noel Coward, Ivor Novello and Christopher Hassell. These musical elements of the show, are appealing (if a little shaky) and although I have seen pieces like ‘My Dearest Dear' and 'Mrs. Worthington' performed with a great deal more style, they succeed due to the excellence of the writing from these greats of British Musical Theatre but also from Bottomley’s charm.
Anyone who adores light music and has a soft spot for slightly nerdy men in the their late 30’s will bask in the warmth of the piece. All the ladies of a ‘certain age’ from Morningside should be flocking to this show in their droves.