BWW Reviews: MARRY ME A LITTLE, St James Studio, July 31 2014

It doesn't seem like very long since I was last at the St James Theatre reviewing a Sondheim revue (Putting It Together, starring Janie Dee and David Bedella).

Marry Me A Little is slightly smaller-scale. Downstairs in the St James Studio, Laura Pitt Pulford and Simon Bailey are portraying developing and disintegrating relationships, and it only takes them an hour to do it.

Pitt Pulford is at her strongest in the blues and jazz-tinged numbers, such as The Girls Of Summer, which shows off the shades of her voice beautifully; while Bailey captures comic and tragic extremes and allows his vocals to soar.

Between them they convey the anticipation of incipient romance, the naivete of new love, the tedium and self-deception of a failing relationship, and the devastating emptiness of a break-up.

The performances are largely excellent, but the direction and production feels somewhat too big for such a small space and an intimate piece. With a sofa, a shelving unit, a coffee table and a grand piano on stage, there's not much room for movement, but that hasn't dissuaded director Hannah Chissick from adding in some broad and sweeping choreography.

And as with any review or song cycle there's a certain feeling of lack (of character, of plot) about it. Perhaps if you're blessed with an imagination perhaps you can add your own nuance to what's presented to you...just as the couple on stage sing about their fantasy worlds.

Marry Me A Little runs at the St James Studio.

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From This Author Carrie Dunn

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