Forever Plaid ★★★★★ Upstairs at the Gatehouse | June 1 - 27, 2021


Forever Plaid, now playing at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate, began life Off-Broadway in 1989 and whisks us through almost thirty songs from the 1950s performed by four clean-cut young men who dream of being a group like The Four Aces or The Four Freshmen. They are Plaid and crash on stage at full speed with their superb close harmony singing. These guys, Cameron Burt, Christopher Short, George Crawford and Alexander Zane, create delightful individual characters and never put a foot wrong; every hand movement, every shoulder shrug, every step is synchronised to perfection. Each fella has his own featured moment and the pace, whilst fast, isn't relentless with one or two slower numbers to balance the programme. Their story is told with charm and wit as well as an endless stream of great songs from the period. The small stage is superbly used and looks terrific with one or two surprises to delight the audience, even the curtain call brings a new twist. Would we recommend this? If you like the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Burt Bacharach, Perry Como, and the like, it is a shoo-in. Is it well done? Let's just say: performances 5 ★, direction (John Plews) 5 ★, choreography (Racky Plews) 5 ★, lighting (Aaron Dootson) 5 ★, sound design (Toby Burrow) 5 ★. Excellent piano and bass accompaniment from Ian Oakley and Jess Martin is again 5 ★. This marvellous little show deserves to find a home in the West End; it aims to please and hits the target dead centre!

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Darren Bell.

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