Theatre Review: The Last Five Years - Govanhill Baths, Glasgow ✭✭✭✭✭

There's no better way to write a musical about love and heartbreak than drawing from your own experiences, which is exactly what Jason Robert Brown did with The Last Five Years.  Set in New York the story follows the half decade relationship of aspiring writer Jamie Wellerstein (Sam Willison) and struggling actress Cathy Hiatt (Imogen Parry) from start to end.  The show's unique selling point is in its story telling, as Jamie's songs track the relationship from when the couple first meet right up until he leaves whereas Cathy's songs tell the story in reverse.  

Parry and Willison deal with the demands of this two character musical with ease, and although they only share a few scenes on stage together they are completely believable as a couple. From the first scene Parry in particular pulls on every heart string as she throws the audience into the emotional deep end with her expressive vocals. Marc Mackinnon's slick direction ensures one scene flows swiftly to the next, leaving little to no time for reflection which heightens impact when the show ends. Musical director Paul Slevin was solely responsible for orchestrating the full show, a feat that he pulled off with gusto.

Mad Props are known for their high standard productions and fresh show choices, and The Last Five Years is another success to add to their list.

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