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All I Want For Christmas - Jermyn Street Theatre (Review)

All I Want For Christmas

Review by David Munro

THIS is a gem of a one act musical that is most appropriate for the run up to Christmas. However, do not expect holly and carols and goodwill to all men as this little piece contains several surprises!

Anthony (Rob Hughes) picks up Irina (Erica Guyatt) at a bar and asks her to accompany him to his parents for Christmas and pose as his girlfriend. Irina agrees for a price (and expenses) and the action transfers to the parents’ house where Jean (Jessica Martin) is baking gingerbread and Jack (Andrew C. Wadsworth) is preparing for the day with a tot of whiskey.

Anthony and Irina arrive and what ensues makes a very entertaining hour and a half with a distinctly non-Christmas kick in the tail.

The action is helped along by a series of pleasant songs which mainly comment on the action or the characters feelings, although one or two (particularly Irina’s) have an astringent cabaret bite to them.

All the cast are good but if I have to single one out it would be Erica Guyatt’s gold digging Slavonic Irina. She looks gorgeous and every inch the part and she dispenses sex and well financed seasonal goodwill with amazing aplomb and good humour, even when defending her purchase of a car for herself as a justifiable expense of her employment.

Andrew C. Wadsworth makes Jack a coarse, somewhat lecherous oaf, which contrasts nicely with Jessica Martin’s slightly vacuous housewife, with Rob Hughes as a rather unlikely pompous son determined to enjoy Christmas come what may.

Anthony Biggs’ direction moves the action forward smoothly and the composer, Luke Bateman, at the piano ensures that the musical side of proceedings are given full value.

This is just the sort of entertainment to round off a hard days’ shopping and to bring Christmas and all it entails into focus. It is professional, well sung and acted and enormously entertaining; definitely for Scooges but not I think for Tiny Tims!

All I Want For Christmas
Book and Lyrics by Katy Darby
Music by Luke Bateman
Directed by Anthony Biggs
Designer – Cherry Truluck
Lighting – Justin Emrys –Smith
Choreographer – Kenn Oldfield

CAST: Rob Hughes; Erica Guyatt; Jessica Martin; Andrew C. Wadsworth.

Produced by Gene David Kirk for Jermyn Street Theatre.
Jermyn Street Theatre, 16b Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6ST.
Tues, Nov 23, 2010, to Sat, December 18, 2010.
Tues to Sat: 8pm/Sun and Sat matinee: 4pm
Box Office: 020 7287 2875.