Review by Emma Whitelaw
JUST where do the bounds lie between friendship and love? Can
friends ever be lovers, can lovers ever be friends? And more importantly,
can a threesome ever work?
Following their massive success in Notes
from New York, at the Donmar Warehouse, electric duo, Paul
Spicer and Julie Atherton, again join forces in Little
by Little, now showing at The Arts Theatre.
The comic musical is about the complex love triangle that develops
between three very dear friends.
There is only one thing worse than having a secret admirer and
not knowing who it is; and that is being the secret admirer and
not being able to tell anyone, especially when the object of your
affection and his girlfriend just happen to be two of your very
Spicer plays piggy in the middle to the affections of Atherton
and the lovely Christine Holman.
The sexual tension between Spicer and the two girls becomes
apparent when they are first at school together, playing a game
of tag. They discover feelings they’d never felt before
and Spicer must choose which of them he feels for most.
Much to Atherton’s dismay, she is not his woman of choice,
and she, in turn, must play messenger for the budding young lovers.
Over the years to come, their love/friendships develop and they
grow into successful young adults.
Although Spicer and Holman believe
they’re soul mates for life; flaws soon appear in their
seemingly perfect relationship.
Holman develops a wandering eye, which can only lead to disaster
for all three.
Atherton finally breaks, admitting she can no longer harbour
any more of their secrets. She loves both of them and refuses
to be caught in the middle any longer. The three friends soon
go their separate ways, only to be united again by fate.
All three cast members are spectacular! They each have their
own uniquely beautiful voice, yet together they are superb, adding
extra resonance to scenes which almost every member of the audience
can probably relate to in some way.
Quite often, the trio had the audience in stitches with their
various little dilemmas.
The songs were full of wit and extremely amusing, yet also very
catchy, while the set was simple, yet very effective, and I thoroughly
enjoyed the use of props throughout the show - especially when
Big Brother’s Marco Sabba appeared as the head and arms
of a tailor's dummy!
Little by Little gives new meaning to the term unconditional
Be it that for a lover or a friend, the characters show an extraordinary
affection for one another that withstands the tests of time.
How their friendship can survive the events surrounding them,
and the personal soul-searching involved, yet still remain the
best of friends, is truly commendable.
This show is for anyone who has had a naughty little crush on
a friend. It comes highly recommended!
Little By Little, The Arts Theatre, Great Newport Street,
London, WC2. Box Office: 020 7836 3334. Performances: Sundays,
August 8 & 22: 4pm & 7.30pm.
Ticket Prices: Stalls: £25, £20; Circle: £25,
£20, £15; £5 off top price tickets for students