The Last Five Years

The Last Five Years, by the darling of the Contemporary musical theatre world Jason Robert Brown, is about struggling actress Cathy and successful novelist Jamie’s five year relationship. The story explores their ups and downs through neat storytelling; Cathy’s story is told in reverse and Jamie’s in chronological order.

This is a lovely, slick version of the popular show. The set is innovative, not crowding the small space and making for a perfectly tourable Fringe show.

This is a lovely, slick version of the popular show. The set is innovative, not crowding the small space and making for a perfectly tourable Fringe show. Direction from Jonathan Goodwin is neat and slick with Musical Director Michael James bringing out the storytelling perfectly from the cast.

Both Mark Newham (Jamie) and Georgie Fuller (Cathy) are graduates of Rose Bruford. I couldn’t find anything out about 1826 Productions (the internet brings up a videography company and I don’t think this is them) so don’t know if they have done any work before or if this was a new company set up for Brighton Fringe. Either way both Newham and Fuller capture their characters perfectly and bring real comedy and pathos to their journeys, they are both engaging musical theatre performers. Fuller in particular has a smooth and soaring voice and gets to the heart of the story in each number.

This may feel like a petty point but I couldn’t help wondering why none of Cathy’s costumes were ironed? Was it a comment on Jamies’ success and Cathy’s failure or was it just as simple as the fact that there was no iron backstage? At the beginning I thought it was poignant that Cathy appeared dishevelled and unkempt, as I’m sure her clothes were the last things on her mind. But being a desperate jobbing actress trying out for endless auditions she would have definitely ironed her clothes! I did find it distracting, even from Georgie Fuller’s beautiful voice.

I really enjoyed this production and would recommend catching it before the Fringe finishes. Just get there early as it’s confusing trying to find your way into BHASVIC and trying to find the theatre.

Reviews by Lou Rogers

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

A funny, fast-paced and moving Broadway musical written by Jason Robert Brown. It deftly explores the five year on-off relationship between Cathy, a struggling young actress, and Jamie, a rising young novelist. The show is full of memorable songs and central to the plot is an ingenious form of storytelling where the characters belong to different but intersecting timelines.