Closer Than Ever ★★★★ Ginger Quiff Media (online) | From September 23, 2021


Closer Than Ever is a series of songs loosely tied together around the theme that life is a series of transitions. We open doors and our lives change. The show presents us with a series of people at various points of experience. A divorced mother reflects on her choice to leave her husband. A group of young people consider the challenges of the dating game. A single woman humorously comments on the role of the male and female animals in nature. These are all quite fascinating glimpses into the lives of some potentially very interesting people. For us, however, the show ultimately was rather like one of those popular tasting menus. All the courses were interesting and we enjoyed some more than others, but finally, we were left somewhat unsatisfied. We wanted to know more than these fascinating vignettes offered and missed a clear story arc. David Shire's music was engaging, often quite original and sometimes reminiscent of other theatrical composers. Richard Maltby Jr.'s words were clever, and quite delightful. We can't remember the last time the word "fecund" came up in a lyric! The songs were also beautifully articulated by all of the cast. Indeed, Dalton Harris, Lee Mead, Kerry Ellis and Grace Mouat each offer us first-rate performances. Individually they shine, and in their ensemble work they are quite stunning. Our personal favourites were "There", "One of the Good Guys", and, of course, "The Bear, the Tiger, the Hamster and the Mole" but there are many great moments here. We strongly recommend you open the door to this enjoyable, thought-provoking entertainment.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Bonnie Britain.

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