Falling Stars, The Union Theatre (online) - ★★★★ - November 22-29, 2020


"Smile" was one of Charlie Chaplin's best-loved songs, and it is with a smile that we welcomed Falling Stars – a charming musical revue inspired by finding an album of old songs in an antique shop. Peter Polycarpou writes, sings and tells anecdotes about well known and long forgotten songwriters active in the 1920s, and he is joined in this venture by another West End star, Sally Ann Triplett. Both artistes perform beautifully, individually and together. With their bursts of comedy and delightful song and dance numbers, like "Yes! We Have No Bananas" and "Tea for Two", they also manage to create real interaction with the invisible audience. Aficionados of the Great American Songbook won't find many surprises here but they will find plenty to enjoy. The balance of the popular and the unfamiliar is just right with quite an emphasis on the music of Chaplin. Immaculate staging by Michael Strassen, top-class lighting from Andrew Exeter, plus some excellent camera angles and editing, combine with Mark Dickman's sympathetic accompaniment to make the sixty minutes whizz by. In these days of streamed shows, this one really hits the mark and has a properly theatrical ambience. Throughout the production there is a heart-warming feeling, great joie de vivre and plenty of variety. Peter Polycarpou gets the “eleven o'clock number” just right with a lovely rendition of "Roses of Picardy" and the show ends wistfully with the evocative "What'll I Do". What we suggest you do is catch the very classy Falling Stars while you can.

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Paul Nicholas Dyke.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
November 22-29, 2020
The Union Theatre (online)
Various show times available at:
https://www.stream.theatre/home

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