The Last Five Years – Life Theatre Limited, Brewhouse arts centre, Burton.
For those of you, such as I, who do not know the piece the Last Five Years is a fast-paced musical telling a tale of love, marriage and break-up seen from the very different perspectives of the two protagonists.
Catherine, played by Sara Evans-Bolger, looks back from the break-up to their getting together while Jamie, Harry Gibson, begins with love at first sight through to the final moments of the doomed relationship.
Produced and directed by Daniel David Webber the show, which runs for 90 minutes but seemed to be over in half the time, fairly gallops along as the sorry tale unfolds. The company make good use of the sparse props and the Brewhouse stage as they relate the breakdown in a marriage from their very differing points of view.
Written and composed by Jason Robert Brown and told only in song it is quite a technical sing and the duo handle the complexities very well. For such a young couple they have a wealth of experience gained both locally and further afield and are called upon throughout to put this to use.
Joined on stage in a couple of scenes by Lara de-Leuw, Sara and Harry carry the show really well and despite the subject matter there are glimpses of humour that lighten the mood.
On stage with the actors were the musicians: Karen Burton, violin, Graham Brown, cello 1, Lizzie Spear, cello 2, and pianist and musical director George Francis. Although they were sat in the corner of the stage it was a credit to their playing and the actors ability to hold your attention that never once did they intrude in the piece.
Although the subject matter is hardly a laugh a minute it is a thoroughly enjoyable night out well produced and acted and sung with some style – a very welcome addition to this season’s bill of fare at the Brewhouse arts centre.
Life Theatre Limited is a professional theatre company based in Derbyshire.
- Bill Pritchard