You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown - Tabard Theatre (Review)
Review by Shanna Schreuder
JUST like Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strips, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown is a musical treat for all ages. Directed by Anthony Drewe, this production at the Tabard Theatre is funny, uplifting and cheeky.
A true classic, the original version was first performed Off-Broadway in 1967 and has subsequently become the most produced musical to date. Revised in 1999 for Broadway to give it a more contemporary feel, it hasn’t altered the personalities of the six characters from Peanuts – Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy, Linus, Schroeder, and Sally – who sing about their pleasures, anxieties and observations.
You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown shows us an average day in the life of Charlie Brown, from when he gets up in the morning to when he goes to sleep at night.
The opening number, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, is sung by his friends as they each give a brief comment about his personality.
Although they start out negative, as Lucy explains: “Now Charlie Brown has what you call a Failure Face, Linus. Notice how it has failure written all over it”; they all conclude that he’s actually a good man: “You have humility, nobility and a sense of honour that is very rare indeed.”
As the day goes on we’re introduced to all of the characters and find out what makes them so unique. Lucy’s dream of one day marrying Schroeder; Schroeder’s love of Beethoven; Linus’s love affair with his blanket; Sally’s new philosophy for dealing with things she doesn’t like; and Snoopy finding the best part of the day to be suppertime.
Simon Wells’s set is neat and with a few movable pieces, the transforming doghouse and mechanical rabbit, it creates the illusion of something bigger.
Lewis Barnshaw as Charlie Brown has a constant questioning expression on his face, which successfully bring across the character’s insecurities and doubts.
Mark Anderson’s Snoopy is charming and loveable, with his laid-back, cool attitude.
Leanne Jones, as Lucy, and Hayley Gallivan, as Sally, are both fantastic. They have great comic timing, nailing each note and joke.
As Schroeder, Nathaniel Morrison brings the laughs with physical comedy, while Adam Ellis’s Linus is adorable and he effortlessly makes a stutter sound crystal clear.
You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown is pure fun and a great show to take the children to – but adults without five-year-olds will love it too!
It has a magical way of reminding you what it’s like to be a kid, and how we can all find happiness in life. Find out more