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Little by Little, love will find a way

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 best friends.

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 love.
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 and under-18s.

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