Birmingham Hippodrome

The producers of this musical play should go down on their bended knees to Su Pollard. Without her gorgeous wit and lovely sense of timing the show be would an even bigger miss than it is at the moment. Primarily it is the updated and suffocatingly silly story of a bunch of love-struck teenagers in summer stock in Cape Cod.

For English audiences the complexities of the American theatre system have always been a puzzle and the show that amused audiences in the 30’s falls flat today. Roger Redfarn does what he can to breathe life into this wooden and confusing scenario. He uses Tudor Davies again for the choreography and Terry parsons for settings. But there is no opportunity for Mr. Davies to work and Mr. Parsons, caught by the exigencies of the plot, falls mainly between back stage and barn.

When Rodgers and Hart get a look in, with song stacked on it seems for no reason at all, the stage livens up and you forget the play-within-the-play (which the youngsters sabotage) and fall at Miss Pollard’s feet with gratitude as she belts out The Lady is A Tramp. You fall again at Susan Denaker’s feet when she sings the beautiful song Where Or When. Matthew Kelly as Valentine White also sings but you tend not to fall at Mr. Kelly’s feet. One lovely memory however is Ms Pollard telling you a bedtime story “You wanna hear how Mother Goose got her name ?” She says wonderfully wickedly, and I immediately came to again in my seat.

Richard Edmonds

Birmingham Post
April 1985