REVIEW: Andrew Lloyd Webber's TELL ME ON A SUNDAY Showcases Erin Clare's Beautiful Voice

TELL ME ON A SUNDAY

By: Apr. 20, 2024
REVIEW: Andrew Lloyd Webber's TELL ME ON A SUNDAY Showcases Erin Clare's Beautiful Voice
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Thursday 18th April 2024, 7:30pm, Hayes Theatre Potts Point

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s one act song cycle TELL ME ON A SUNDAY receives a rare staging at Hayes Theatre, showcasing Erin Clare as the solo character.  Supported by a six piece band, this 70 minute work is a reflection of the era in which it was written while having a conclusion that still correlates with more contemporary values.

REVIEW: Andrew Lloyd Webber's TELL ME ON A SUNDAY Showcases Erin Clare's Beautiful Voice Originally presented at the 1979 Sydmonton Festival and paired with Lloyd Webber’s VARIATIONS in SONG AND DANCE when it made it’s West End premiere, TELL ME ON A SUNDAY  follows the life of an English woman, ‘The Girl’ trying to find love and a career in America.  The audience meets ‘The Girl’ after she’s been told by a “friend” that her boyfriend has been spotted cheating on her in New York City when he was supposed to be out of town on business.  Right from the initial number, Take That Look Off Your Face the audience is given a clue to the fact that ‘the girl’ is holding on a relationship for more reasons than love but having the lie laid bare by others forces her hand to finally leave.  The cycle of two dozen or so songs follows the rapid romances, the concessions and excuses made and the reports to her mother back in England by way of letters.  While she wants the husband, children and white picket fence dream, the course of the relationships gradually has her re-evaluate the value of ensuring that she’s not just compromising her happiness to suit someone else, or to get an elusive ‘Green Card’ work visa.

REVIEW: Andrew Lloyd Webber's TELL ME ON A SUNDAY Showcases Erin Clare's Beautiful Voice Lloyd Webber and Black’s songs, many of which have become stand-alone cabaret standards as moving ballads, have a variety of musical stylings with an undercurrent of jazz and melodies that would go on to be reworked into Lloyd Webber’s other works.  The work has musical direction from David Gardos (also conductor, piano and keyboard) and Musical Supervision from Guy Simpson, with the band consisting of Andy Davies on drums and percussion, Benjamin Campbell on electric and acoustic bass, Seb Bartels on electric and acoustic guitar, Julienne Guerbois on Cello and Laura Power on Flute, Alto Flute, and alto and tenor saxophone.  With this musical support, presented live onstage, Erin Clare delivers a consistently strong performance that strikes the balance of replicating some of the sound of other performers that have presented the iconic songs while making the pieces her own with extra flourishes and a tempered English accent.  Clare demonstrates a good connection to the underlying text as she ensures the pace of the piece lands cleanly, particularly for pieces like the Letters Home To England where she narrates the missives to her mother.  Director Blazey Best has Clare utilize the breadth of the Hayes Stage, dominated by a central hexagonal podium, giving the work a staged concert feel rather than traditional musical.  The intimacy of the Hayes Theatre is utilized as Clare uses the audience as the unseen recipient of the one-sided conversations, holding focus much longer than most performers would in a traditional musical. 

REVIEW: Andrew Lloyd Webber's TELL ME ON A SUNDAY Showcases Erin Clare's Beautiful Voice Aside from the central podium, minimal stage dressing of a hall table with phone and a dressing mirror and hat stand ready for a costume change serve as the only other set elements.  The costuming is simple, reflecting a degree of being of an earlier decade though not enough to be be visually jarring.  The costume changes assist with the understanding of the passing of days and months as well as location as the contrast between New York life and California style is considered with simplicity of structured verses flowing cuts. 

REVIEW: Andrew Lloyd Webber's TELL ME ON A SUNDAY Showcases Erin Clare's Beautiful Voice This production of TELL ME ON A SUNDAY is a delightful opportunity to experience Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s songs in their original context while being treated to Erin Clare’s beautiful voice.  Initially feeling ‘outdated’ in terms of female independence and empowerment, TELL ME ON A SUNDAY is a story of one woman’s growth to see a life where she doesn’t have to rely on being in a relationship to validate her existence or to secure her future, leaning into the feminist movement and modern views on relationships and the need, or not, to have them, something still relatively progressive in 1979. 

https://hayestheatre.com.au/event/tell-me-on-a-sunday/

Photos: John McRae



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