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Theatre Review: On A Clear Day You Can See Forever - Union Theatre ✭✭✭✭✭

On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
Union Theatre
Review by Tom Fowles

6th September 2013: Intimate theatre has always been one of great risk but if done correctly can captivate the audience and totally immerse them into the world of the piece; and that is what the flawless cast of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever did playing at the Union Theatre

If like me you were unsure of the title of this piece, I shall set the scene for you. Based on the 1970 film of the same name starring Barbra Streisand the story concerns the chain smoking fiancé of an ultra-conservative husband to be who attends a hypnosis class to help her kick her habit. Whilst attending the class she (Daisy Gamble) discovers a diverse alter English ego to her bubbly American self.

Act One commenced with a melody of wonderful harmonies by the vocally powerful company which exhibited a simple yet largely effective opening to the piece and lulled the audience into a calm state of hypnosis that paved way for the rest of the show. 

Director Kirk Jameson wastes no time in introducing the principle pair that lead the show and wasting no time is a poignant theme in his direction; the show has a punchy flow which in turn kept the audience attentively captivated; some would say entranced.

Leading lady Vicki Lee Taylor very naturally portrayed a scatty, energetic, but more over funny Daisy Rumble. Her sweet singing voice complemented the role terrifically with an emotive rendition of 'What Did I Have That I Don't Have'. Daisy's hidden counter part; well spoken 1880's fine cut English 'Melinda' is played by Taylor in interesting contrast that evokes the mystery further. Taylor creates a refined yet effectively distant lady in Melinda but successfully highlights a certain naivety that her and Miss Daisy Rumble share. Furthermore to Taylor's carefully crafted acting abilities are her on-the-mark comic timings, transforming the role into a truly loveable character as a result of her subtle yet funny mannerisms. 

Every strong leading lady needs an equally strong man to play opposite and in this show that role is gratefully filled by Nadeem Crowe playing a cool yet controlling Dr Mark Bruckner. Although the pair do not support a love interest for each other in the story, their on stage chemistry is captivating. Crowe portrays Dr Bruckner's lust for intrigue and answers that he finds in the character of Daisy Rumble extremely well. A certain winning moment of the show was towards the climax of Act One when Dr Bruckner finds himself under question, doubting his own thoughts of the existence of the mysterious Melinda; could she just be a mirage of his imagination? Clever direction from Kirk Jameson sees Dr Bruckner sitting in the chair of questions that Daisy had sat previously to end the act.

Taylor and Crowe were supported by a very strong cast, particularly notable performances from Matt Beveridge playing Edward Moncrief; Miranda's love interest. Vocally charming Beveridge brings chemistry to his rendition of 'She Wasn't You'. Vicki Lee Taylor was joined in a comically entertaining 'Wait Till We're Sixty-Five' aided by Howard Jones playing Warren Smith.

The simple yet wholly effective lighting design by Charlie Morgan Jones painted a picture of stark doctors surgeries and ageing memories of the past. 

This intriguing show is a must see which will leave audiences hypnotically longing for more. On A Clear Day - A Clear Hit. 

5 stars ✭✭✭✭✭

Listings Info

Wednesday 4th – Saturday 28th September 2013
Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30pm and Saturday/Sunday at 2:30pm

The Union Theatre, Union Street, Southwark. SE1 0LX
Tickets - £19.50 (£17.50 concessions)
Box Office - 0207 261 9876
For more information visit www.uniontheatre.biz

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