BWW Reviews: THE A-Z OF MRS P, Southwark Playhouse, February 26 2014
A great man once said, tired of London, tired of life. And who could blame Mrs P, aka Phyllis Pearsall, if she'd dropped down with fatigue after walking every street of our great city in order to create the A-Z for the lost general public of a generation without iPhones?
The delightful Southwark Playhouse is the home for the world premiere of this 'musical fable' based on the book by Diane Samuels.
Gwyneth Herbert's music and lyrics tell Mrs P's extraordinary story, which begins in 1936 with her running away from a marriage in Venice.
Our whimsical heroine (Isy Suttie, Dobby in Peep Show) arrives in London without a place to stay but meets a friendly taxi driver who hands her the card of a boarding house (possibly not the best strategy for new arrivals in London today, best off on Sparerooms.com).
Suttie doesn't have the strongest singing voice; however, she charms everyone she meets from the audience and postmen to WH Smith himself.
The big voice comes from Frances Ruffelle whose skills we get to hear when the story strangely shifts focus to Mrs P's mismatched parents and their own quarrelsome history.
Sam Buntrock's show is packed with songs which makes for a slightly lengthy two hours, however there are a few standouts; 'Lovely London Town' in particular is a sweet homage to the city.
The A-Z Of Mrs P runs at Southwark Playhouse until 29th March