21:15 | 25th May 2019

Reviews: Live Shows

Tue 6 Nov, 2018
By Robert Ingham

this is, all in all, a great production, and worth seeing

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Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club - theatre review

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Rupert Street may be a fancy gay bar in Soho, but that came long after Jonathan Harvey’s “Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club” was first on the scene - and it is this play that returns to Above The Stag theatre, 10 years after it was first produced when they were in Victoria.

Set in a flat on Rupert Street, London in the 1990s, It tells the story of two estranged brothers, Shaun and Marti, who have been brought together after Shaun’s girlfriend has flown to Jamaica for four weeks to attend her grandfather’s funeral. Shaun is falling apart, whilst Marti is fighting inner demons, and both have to deal with their group of quirky neighbours and friends. All are looking for love in some shape or form, and it is this which forms the basis of ‘Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club’.

This production certainly does press many buttons, with characters you can relate to, and situations we have all found ourselves in, and the cast have pulled out all the stops to bring Harvey’s words to life, doing so with finesse and charm.

Having said that, it is fair to say the cast are a little younger than the text would suggest, though this is a minor point, and does not detract from the pathos and heartache layering this piece. And it does feel at times you are watching a mash-up of Gimme Gimme Gimme/Abigail’s party - which is by no means a negative.

The cast are super, with stand-outs from Amy Dunn, who is absolutely fabulous as kooky George (think Julianne Moore meets Hugh Grant, Four Weddings era), and Phoebe Vigor, playing Clarine (perfectly capturing the sadness mental illness can bring). These two propel the production along, and their characters are excellently developed by Harvey.

Being placed in the Studio has created a much more inviting air, as you feel like you are eavesdropping on a group of misfits who have all, in their own ways, lost their footing in life.

Brilliantly directed by Steven Dexter and with a lovely set from the ever dependable David Shields, this is, all in all, a great production, and worth seeing. Grab your tickets now as it’s only on till 18th November.


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