10:36 | 19th February 2019

Reviews: Live Shows

Sat 20 May, 2017
By Robert Ingham

‘When Harry Met Barry’ is a charming show which will leave you toe-tapping

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When Harry Met Barry - theatre review

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Seven years ago, when Above The Stag theatre was literally above The Stag pub in Victoria, ‘When Harry Met Barry’ premiered at the venue. This ‘fairytale’ musical was well received and gained great reviews, so it was only a matter of time before it returned to ATS in Vauxhall – but with an upgrade or two.

The story revolves around the lives of four people – Harry, Barry, Spencer and Alice – and is the classic tale of boy meets boy meets boy meets girl. Harry is heartbroken but meets Spencer, a young disco twink ready for love.

Barry is the city worker who meets Alice, a young hopeless romantic, and the two couples are set for their happy-ever-afters. However, fate has other plans, and Harry and Barry end up in the back of the same cab. Realising they had a dalliance seven years ago, it becomes apparent that the feelings they had back then may not have necessarily faded.

With the updates, Paul Emelion Daly has improved his musical romance considerably. The songs are cohesive, the script is tight, the characters are solid and relatable and there is a little something for everyone to enjoy. There are some lovely touches to the show, especially the friendship formed between Spencer and Alice who are unaware of the unfolding romance.

The incredibly good-looking cast are all suited to their roles, and there is a definite frisson between Harry (Brandon Gale) and Barry (Sam Peggs). It does take a little while to work out Spencer (Austin Garrett) – is he genuinely falling for Harry, or is it just a youthful fling? All becomes apparent and he settles into his character with ease. Performance of the night has to be from Maddy Banks, who plays Alice. Maddy is outstanding with a stunning voice and excellent comic timing – definitely one to look out for in the future.

With a great set, strong direction from Steven Dexter and playful songs around a peppy script, ‘When Harry Met Barry’ is a charming show which will leave you toe-tapping and humming afterwards, in particular to the frothy “Why Ask For The Moon”.

‘When Harry Met Barry’ is well into its run and has been extended to 11th June – grab your ticket now and see how a love triangle really works when set to music.


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