Tag Archives: Michael Roulston

Julie Madly Deeply

Julie Madly Deeply


Park Theatre

Julie Madly Deeply

Julie Madly Deeply

Park Theatre

Reviewed – 20th December 2021



“Feel-good entertainment this is, and in the hands of talented performers — it works”


True confession: I must admit that I arrived at this show (after some difficulty finding the Park Theatre due to the new (improved) area around Finsbury Park Station) a sceptic. Julie, Madly, Deeply? Two hours of Julie Andrews’ impressions? Fan of Dame Julie though I am, it still seemed like a stretch for one performer (Sarah-Louise Young) and her accompanist (Michael Roulston) to bring off. I am delighted to report that this sceptic left the theatre two and a half hours later — a convert.

Julie, Madly, Deeply (directed by Russell Lucas) is easy on the ears. It is easy on the eyes as well, since Sarah-Louise Young is a talented mimic who can make you believe she really looks like Julie Andrews (and even Audrey Hepburn). Young is also an accomplished singer (no surprises there) and accompanist Michael Roulston plays beautifully (and, on occasion, sings quite nicely as well). All the favourites from Dame Julie’s long and brilliant career are featured. But Young’s rendition of “Could I Leave You” from Follies was, for me at least, the standout song of the evening. The moment of tribute to the late Stephen Sondheim was poignantly and beautifully done. In Julie, Madly, Deeply the songs are delivered with an appropriately sharp wit. It does not seem out of place, especially when you consider how fearless and edgy Julie Andrews herself became, after she got together with movie director Blake Edwards.

There are always challenges to dramatizing the life of a famous person. If you want to be truthful as well as entertaining, you have to acknowledge the tragedies as well as the triumphs. Sarah-Louise Young doesn’t sugar coat Julie Andrews’ tough childhood (the absent mother; the alcoholic step-father, who also discovered her talent) and growing up as the family breadwinner. Young focuses on the important part: that Dame Julie is an extraordinary talent who has been performing on world famous stages since she was nine years old. Young doesn’t dwell on the personal tragedies in adulthood, either, because Julie, Madly, Deeply should have happy ending, right? To their great credit, Young, Roulston and Lucas do pull off the happy ending—by bringing us right back to where the show began: Young as a star struck Julie Andrews’ fan writing a letter to her idol. It doesn’t matter whether Dame Julie replied—what matters is the moment we can all identify with—a touching tribute to a great star, and a wish from a would be performer, to be like that star. In Julie, Madly, Deeply, the audience is warmly invited to sing along with all their favourite Julie Andrews’ songs, and to share their memories of seeing Dame Julie in person. Feel-good entertainment this is, and in the hands of talented performers — it works.

Julie, Madly, Deeply is perfect for those who feel unable—understandably during a pandemic—to brave the bigger, and riskier, theatres of London’s West End. The Park Theatre is not only smaller, but both cast and crew will welcome you in and make you feel as safe as is possible in these difficult times. So get your jabs on, mask up, and go over to Finsbury Park, for a delightful trip down Memory Lane.



Reviewed by Dominica Plummer

Photography by Steve Ullathorne


Julie Madly Deeply

Park Theatre until 1st January


Previously reviewed at this venue:
Abigail’s Party | ★★★★ | November 2021
Flushed | ★★★★ | October 2021
Little Women | ★★★★ | November 2021
When Darkness Falls | ★★★ | August 2021
Cratchit | ★★★ | December 2021


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Liberty Rides Forth! – 5 Stars


Liberty Rides Forth!

Waterloo East Theatre

Reviewed – 4th October 2018


“as an audience member, you let yourself go along with the madness, it’s thoroughly entertaining”


The riotous Liberty Rides Forth! is likely not what you would expect in a musical, combining elements of Greek theatre and drag to offer a slightly bonkers hour and a half of escapism.

Three trainee muses representing poetry, comedy and romance are on a mission to inspire aspiring novelist Trevor Rowbottom, a timid and nerdy guy who is hopelessly in love with his colleague, Susie. He’s pretty sure she doesn’t know he exists, and so to change that, Trevor has tried everything to write the next best-seller so that Susie will notice him and fall madly in love. But he needs help, a lot of help. So much help that he he claims he would do anything to achieve his goals. And that’s when Liberty, the fabulous drag spirit bursts into his life causing havoc for both him and the muses.

Book, music and lyrics are all by David Kent, for whom Liberty Rides Forth! marks his first musical. It’s an ambitious project; most strikingly for its bizarre plot which is at first set up as if to be a satirical take on the structures of plot in novels and theatre (Muses on a Mission, The Formula for Love), but turns out instead to be a complete farce that’s almost impossible to pin down. If, as an audience member, you let yourself go along with the madness, it’s thoroughly entertaining.

The musical numbers vary from sweetly harmonious tunes from the Greek chorus, through pining ballads of unrequited love, to the more stomping and traditionally theatrical numbers characteristic of Liberty herself. The music is accompanied by some excellent imagery, a personal favourite in More than She’ll Ever Know came with Trevor declaring how much he would love to be Susie’s cup of Earl Grey tea, if only to be held by her and brought to her lips.

The cast really bring this piece to life and give it the kind of madcap energy it requires to draw the audience in to its unconventional plot. The three muses (Chloe Rice, Emma Scott and Georgie Faith) complemented each other beautifully, singing with a gorgeously bright tonality that set a high bar right from the opening number. William Hazell as Trevor is also superb, striking a balance between pathetic but endearing incompetence who grows in self-confidence throughout the piece. And of course the titular character herself, Lady Liberty, was played with much pomp and pizzazz by Dereck Walker.

The lighting on the whole involved subtle enough changes to suit the mood of the musical numbers, yet also heightening the drama in the more climactic scenes. Jasmine Davies’ numerous costumes for Liberty all conveyed the glamour of this femme fatale, particularly a red jewel-encrusted corset paired with an ostrich feather skirt. Heavenly.

Liberty Rides Forth! is a rompingly camp whirlwind of a show that’s best enjoyed with friends, a glass of wine, and an openness to all possibilities.


Reviewed by Amber Woodward

Photography by Mark Turner



Liberty Rides Forth!

Waterloo East Theatre until 21st October


Previously reviewed at this venue:
Doodle – The Musical | ★½ | January 2018
Unburied | ★★★★★ | March 2018
Romeo & Juliet | ★★ | June 2018


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