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Closer Than Ever - Jermyn Street Theatre (Review)

Review by Shanna Schreuder

FAULTLESS performances and witty songs make the current production of the Off-Broadway Closer Than Ever at the Jermyn Street Theatre one of the hottest shows in town.

Written by Richard Maltby and David Shire in the 1980s, this version, directed by Maltby, includes new songs to bring it up to date. However, the originals about love, dating and life have not dated a bit.

Most tunes have a humour character with amusing insights into the ups and downs of personal relationships. Each vignette is not only pitch-perfectly delivered by Graham Bickley, Sophie-Louise Dann, Arvid Larsen and Issy van Randwyck, but also contain a series of well-timed comic gestures, from knowing winks to raised eyebrows, to make them stand strong on their own.

Sophie-Louise Dann’s exceptional voice is particularly sensational when she gives us a life lesson on the nature of men and women with The Bear, The Tiger, The Hamster and The Mole and utterly moving on the heartfelt Life Story and Patterns.

Smooth vocals and mischievous moves by Issy van Randwyck on her solos Miss Byrd and Back On Base make for a saucy treat.

Graham Bickley’s excellent rendition of What Am I Doin’? makes stalking seem like an amusing past-time, and Arvid Larsen shows us that he can easily tackle the stresses of modern life when he flies through I’ll Get Up Tomorrow Morning.

Playing at the Jermyn Theatre until June 7, 2014, the new version of Closer Than Ever with Bickley, Dann, van Randwyck and Larsen is sure to be sold out each and every night. Make sure you get your tickets, because this show is a hit on every level.

Tickets: £25 full price, £20 concessions – available from the box office on 020 7287 2875 or online at www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3.30pm.