In a spoken word account – I would assume non-fictional, though this is never made clear – Laurel Lockhart tells us of her time in New York as she tries to hit it big in the grand world of theatre. There’s a bizarre undercurrent to the piece; it is as though it is not so much a show as an opportunity to create a fantasy consistent with the memories she obviously treasures dearly. But Broadway this is not and her dreams of an audience larger than that which was present let this piece down. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Sara Goldfarb of Requiem for a Dream – a woman who becomes progressively caught up in illusions of fame.

The piece felt dated, like the kind of earnest television or radio monologue broadcast way back when. Lockhart’s style harks back to a simpler time, and this feels, at its heart, a very noble thing. It is, however, a style that has been parodied so many times that it is hard to take seriously. ‘They eloped.’ Ellipsis. ‘To New Jersey!’ She laughs. Rumbles on. It doesn’t matter if we, the audience, laugh: this is just a rehearsal before she goes on camera, and we the producers checking that this will be wholesome fare for the family.

If this had been a persona, it would have been clever – but there was no ironic framework that suggested this to be the case. Instead, she seemed unable to establish a connection with an audience that should have been all the more important in light of its sparseness. In fact, she barely acknowledged that she had an audience at all. She spoke over our heads, to where a camera or theatre full of people should be. As expressive and congenial a storyteller as she was, it was hard to feel much attachment to a storyteller who looked as though she was dreaming of a better audience.

It became almost impossible to keep track of the various characters she met on her journey to stardom, and this was an almost insurmountable impediment to both interest and understanding. Suddenly, she thanks us – ‘Five minutes, Ms. Lockhart!’ – and I left perplexed as to how exactly it had all ended. But maybe it hasn’t- maybe this is part of an undetectable irony. Maybe she’s still hoping for her big break.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Times Square Tourist. The myth. The madness. The mystery of Broadway. Is it a street? A theatre? A district? Or a figment of imagination? Bright lights of Broadway beckon, come with me to the street of dreams.

Most Popular See More

Blithe Spirit

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets