Tag Archives: Sarah Louise Young

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

 

Click here to see our most recent reviews

 

The Snow Queen

★★★★

Park Theatre

The Snow Queen

The Snow Queen

Park Theatre

Reviewed – 6th December 2019

★★★★

 

“a little bit of magic and a whole lot of fun”

 

If you are looking for a fun family show for Christmas this upbeat and hilarious reworking of the Snow Queen story is for you. Writer Charles Way has adapted the Hans Christian Anderson favourite into a lively and engaging romp of an adventure, following Gerda on her quest to free Cei from the wicked Snow Queen. On the way she grows in courage and strength, finding herself as well as her friend. Christopher James Ash’s joyful musical mash-ups had the children in the audience on their feet, dancing along, caught in the atmosphere and loving it.

Ayesha Casely-Hayford is a sweet and charming Gerda, initially prone to panic attacks, and becoming resourceful and brave as her journey progresses. Esmonde Cole’s Cei is a teenager messing up at school and looking for more in life. Their friendship felt real, and like something worth fighting for when Gerda’s father forbids them to see each other. The father is played by Justin Brett, who also plays Daffodil and Bae the reindeer. His preening and beautifully camp Daffodil was definitely one of the comedy highlights of the show, and he brings the reindeer, a beautiful and magical creature of the forest, ably to life. The snow queen enters with a powerful soprano outburst as Frances Marshall revels in her evil character, and the other three cast members, Matt Cavendish, Paula James and Sarah-Louise Young, play their multiple roles with gusto. James’ Princess Frederica and her sidekick played by Young were a TOWIE delight and Cavendish danced and bashed people with gay abandon in the forest.

All this activity took place in Gregor Donnelly’s imaginative set and Richard Williamson’s lighting that showed us stars, the northern lights and the passing of the seasons, with added atmosphere from James Nicholson’s sound design. Abigail Anderson, the director, has worked with her company to make a little bit of magic and a whole lot of fun.

 

Reviewed by Katre

Photography by Manuel Harlan

 


The Snow Queen

Park Theatre until 4th January

 

Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Intra Muros | | April 2019
Napoli, Brooklyn | ★★★★ | June 2019
Summer Rolls | ★★★½ | June 2019
The Time Of Our Lies | ★★★★ | August 2019
The Weatherman | ★★★ | August 2019
Black Chiffon | ★★★★ | September 2019
Mother Of Him | ★★★★★ | September 2019
Fast | ★★★★ | October 2019
Stray Dogs | | November 2019
Sydney & The Old Girl | ★★★★ | November 2019

 

Click here to see our most recent reviews