Buyer & Cellar, Above The Stag Theatre - ★★★★ - Until November 8, 2020

Photo by PBG Studios.

Jonathan Tolins' New York cult hit Buyer & Cellar gets a beautifully presented new production by Andrew Beckett. Here we have Aaron Sidwell as Alex More, a wannabe actor who gets a job curating Streisand's bizarre collection of memorabilia in the basement of her home. From the outset we know we are not getting a 'Barbra' impersonator; in fact, Sidwell gives only a fleeting impression of the diva but it is enough to create an ambience. Only in America could one get adoring fans with such obsessions about their idols. Sadly, they simultaneously want to smash that image of perfection to smithereens. Whilst Alex struggles to remain in awe of her, his unseen cynical boyfriend bitches about her over the phone. Streisand is portrayed as self-obsessed, penny pinching, shallow and frankly, weird. We even get an account of the lonely star seemingly 'coming-on' to Alex. If you're looking for the Streisand of Funny Girl and her other films you'll be disappointed. Sidwell is relentlessly chirpy over 100 unbroken minutes as he fiddles and fusses in a superb tour-de-force performance. It is perhaps too long and judicious cutting would help, but that doesn't diminish Aaron Sidwell's star quality. Special praise is also due to David Shields, Stacey Sandford and Andy Hill for the technical presentation: the clever projections and sound are spot on. Well performed as it is, to enjoy this show to the full you really need to know your Fanny from your Yentl.

Reviewed by D.S.J.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until November 8, 2020
Thu - Sat: 7:30 pm, Sat: 3:30 pm & Sun: 6 pm
Above The Stag Theatre
Nearest tube: Vauxhall

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