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Review Roundup: FIRST DATE Starring Samantha Barks and Simon Lipkin, Streaming Now!

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Let's see what the critics are saying...

Lambert Jackson Productions and Crazy Coqs recently opened a virtual production of the Broadway musical First Date. Dean Johnson directs Samantha Barks (Casey), Oscar Conlon-Morrey (Man #2), Rufus Kampa (Young Aaron), Simon Lipkin (Aaron), Nicholas McLean (Man #1), and Danielle Steers (Woman #1).

The production was filmed at Crazy Coqs, and is available for streaming 22 - 24 October at 7.30pm.

Let's see what the critics are saying...

Caroline Cronin, BroadwayWorld: You don't get a more charismatic duo than Lipkin and Barks. Both superstars in their own right, but leaning into different strengths, Lipkin and Barks have a natural camaraderie that lifts the performances to a very believable place. Lipkin's natural sense of comedy is utilised to the max, but is nuanced and rooted in relatable vulnerability. Barks has a swagger and polish that lights up the screen, but breaks your heart when you look into her eyes.

Chris Omaweng, LondonTheatre1: The style of humour is not going to appeal to everyone - some will find it insufferably juvenile, and there are moments when frankly, a bit of subtlety wouldn't go amiss. But - marks for consistency - the bombastic and over the top nature of many of the musical numbers, amplifies the comic effect, with Conlon-Morrey's restaurant waiter proving particularly hilarious. For my part, without the benefit of a live audience, there isn't time to let out all the laughter before the dialogue resumes after a humorous punchline.

Greg Stewart, Theatre Weekly: Director, Dean Johnson has embraced the varied musical stylings and added some quirky editing to make this virtual offering stand out with kitsch fun and pizazz. While some of the dialogue verges on the dull side, the score is one of a true Broadway musical, with plenty of real highlights. Usually this comes from Lipkin and Barks, but the supporting cast also get their fair share of the juicy numbers, including a particularly poignant number from Danielle Steers, which also features a cameo appearance from Rufus Kampa.

Marianka Swain, iNews: Nevertheless, Barks and Lipkin have a warm rapport, and Barks demonstrates her musical theatre chops by tearing into power balled "Safer". Though their characters never quite progress beyond archetypes, the performers give them heft, and this filmed version creates added intimacy between the pair, and between actors and audience.

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