Tag Archives: Felix Mosse



Upstairs at the Gatehouse

IN CLAY at Upstairs at the Gatehouse


“a hugely enjoyable and upbeat production, despite the moving subject matter”

The cosy pub venue is transformed by set designer Rachael Ryan into an artist’s studio/kitchen with dark wood shelves, stylishly chaotic pots and a potter’s wheel.

A live band of guitar, violin, double bass and piano sit snugly in the corner.

A woman enters, draped in a huge knitted cardigan, and linen trousers (costume also by Rachael Ryan). She is the picture of a chicly messy artist. With a thick French accent she begins to sing. I’ll admit, I’m a little doubtful.

But by the end of the first song Rosalind Ford has us in the palm of her hand.

The story is poignant, and true. The play follows the life story of Marie-Berthe Cazin, an early 20th century French ceramicist, whose work was often misattributed to the men in her life.

The shape of the piece is well crafted by writer Rebecca Simmonds, beginning with Marie waiting for the arrival of her childhood friend, acclaimed painter Henrietta Tirman, and then flashing back to tell the story of their friendship and Marie’s life.

The lyrics, written by Simmonds, and Jack Miles, are occasionally a little neat. However, the strength of Miles’ music transports the audience and give the songs an incredible emotive power.

Crucially however, Rosalind Ford as Marie is sublime. She is warm and full of life, dashing about the stage with cheerful mischief, assisted by clever direction from Grace Taylor. Her passion is overt – the song about discovering her love of ceramics is downright sexy. She is a captivating performer, who holds our attention right through this one woman musical.

This is the story of one female artist, but likely the story of many. It explores creativity, jealousy and the purpose of artistic talent. But it does so lightly, and with charm, making it a hugely enjoyable and upbeat production, despite the moving subject matter.

IN CLAY at Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Reviewed on 15th March 2024

by Auriol Reddaway

Photography by Felix Mosse



Previously reviewed at this venue:

SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD | ★★★ | February 2024
YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN | ★★ | December 2023
HOW TO BUILD A BETTER TULIP | ★★ | November 2022
FOREVER PLAID | ★★★★ | June 2021



Click here to see our Recommended Shows page


Aspects of Love

Aspects of Love

Southwark Playhouse

Aspects of Love

Aspects of Love

Southwark Playhouse

Reviewed – 10th January 2019


“The performances marvellously capture all the aspects of love that the libretto tries to convey”


Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Aspects of Love” was met with a mixed reception when first written and produced in the eighties, and it is indeed one of his more curious affairs. Its own meandering inception and evolution seems to match the rather convoluted plot, based on the autobiography of David Garnett, Virginia Woolf’s nephew. Originally mooted as a film for which Webber and Tim Rice were to contribute some songs, it morphed into an unrealised collaborative cabaret with Trevor Nunn at the helm, before lyricists Don Black and Charles Hart came on board to help steer the vessel in some sort of definite direction. Sandwiched between “Phantom of the Opera” and “Sunset Boulevard” it probably suffered from a lack of focus and some have said it lost its way.

Katie Lipson has untangled the rigging in this revival, first produced last summer at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester, and put it well and truly back on track; also showing us that there is more to this musical than the hit song, “Love Changes Everything”. For there are some truly striking melodies which, by stripping the accompaniment back to just two pianos and percussion, are now allowed to shine through the otherwise lumbering sung-through dialogue.

The story begins with the character of Alex (Felix Mosse) who is looking back over his life. It then flashes back to 1947 when he fell in love with Rose Vibert (Kelly Price), the star of a touring acting company. The young Alex convinces the older actress to spend two weeks with him at his Uncle George’s unoccupied estate. When Uncle George (Jerome Pradon) returns unexpectantly and finds himself attracted to Rose, the complications begin. Complications not just for the characters within the story though; but for the producers too. The trick now is how to keep the audience engaged as the characters canoodle their way through the doodling plot, occasionally thrown off kilter by sudden shifts in time.

But Lipson has the Midas Touch when it comes to musical theatre and has once again assembled an impressively strong cast. The performances marvellously capture all the aspects of love that the libretto tries to convey. Jonathan O’Boyle’s confident direction allows the detail to be seen through the myriad scene and time changes. And if you don’t really care for the plot you certainly care about the characters.

Despite the heavy-handed feel of the piano accompaniment (which some tweaking on the sound desk could quickly cure) the vocal performances are beautiful and searingly moving. Mosse’s intimate yet unsentimental rendition of ‘Love Changes Everything’ is a delightful detour from the original, but the highlights of the show include Price’s heart rending ‘Anything But Lonely’ and Pradon’s understated opening to the Ivor Novello tinged ‘The First Man You Remember’.

But beyond this central love triangle is where the interest really lies. Madalena Alberto, as the free-loving Giulietta is compellingly watchable; Eleanor Walsh, as the fifteen-year-old Jenny, gives an assuredly mature performance that eschews the uncomfortable Lolita-style caricature that is often associated with the role. And Minal Patel, as actor manager Marcel, softly steals the smaller stage time he is allowed with his velvet voice.

It is a tricky show that explores perhaps too many variations on the theme of love. But it seems that this intelligent cast has picked one aspect, made it their own, and let it shine. Like the diamond in the mire, this clear-cut production lets the emotion glisten.


Reviewed by Jonathan Evans

Photography by Pamela Raith


Aspects of Love

Southwark Playhouse until 9th February


Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
The Country Wife | ★★★ | April 2018
Confidence | ★★ | May 2018
The Rink | ★★★★ | May 2018
Why is the Sky Blue? | ★★★★★ | May 2018
Wasted | ★★★ | September 2018
The Sweet Science of Bruising | ★★★★ | October 2018
The Trench | ★★★ | October 2018
Seussical The Musical | ★★★★ | November 2018
The Funeral Director | ★★★★★ | November 2018
The Night Before Christmas | ★★★ | November 2018


Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com