👉 Exchanging paper ticket at the venue with the ticket code which you received via text message starting with【YOUNG剧场】
👉 Children under 1.2m are not allowed to enter
👉 Children over 1.2m will be admitted by full tickets
👉 No cancellation
👉 wearing mask is required
Jason Robert Brown’s autobiographical musical, he wrote music and lyrics, has finally arrived in the West End in a glittering production from Southwark Playhouse, first seen in February 2020.
Premiered in Chicago in 2001 the format of this two-handed musical isn’t entirely new. I Do! I Do !, Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones’ telling of a 50-year marriage from wedding night to gentle old age opened 55 years ago on Broadway. The twist in The Last 5 Years is that the tale is told from beginning to end by Jamie, and in reverse order by Cathy. Now the chronology isn’t always easy to fathom, as careers compete and the relationship progresses in conflicting directions, intersecting somewhere in the middle, but this cast and production make for a poignant and entertaining 90 minutes, laced with humour.
We first encounter Cathy, an actress whose career hasn’t turned out so well, mourning the end of the marriage, ‘Still Hurting’. Then Jamie, an aspiring writer, delirious with joy after meeting a girl outside his circle, ‘Shiksa Goddess’, but pondering how his Jewish family will respond.
The vocal writing is challenging and varied in idiom and range, as are the acting demands. Cathy must progress from diminishing degrees of pain and hurt to her joy at the start of the relationship. Jamie must go from elation to pain to a melancholic final goodbye. The middle section where their lives align has some of the most beautiful music. The Klezmer-influenced ‘The Schmuel Song’, which Jamie sings to Cathy as they share their second Christmas together, and ‘The Next Ten Minutes’ when they finally sing together after Jamie proposes marriage are musical highlights of a score that if not instantly memorable is always inventive and makes one curious to hear again.
Jonathan O’Boyle’s production with choreography by Sam Spencer-Lane is simple but inventive, set on a revolve with a grand piano at its centre, which Cathy and Jamie frequently play (musical direction by Leo Munby). The sound balance is excellent (sound designer is Adam Fisher), always allowing the lyrics to shine through. It would be churlish not to also mention Jamie Platt, whose lighting adds so much to the production.
As we applaud the return of large cast lavish musicals to the West End, this intimate portrait of joy and sorrow is a welcome addition.
‘Magnificent. It’s impossible to imagine two greater performances
in the West End right now.’ ——THE REVIEWS HUB
‘I didn’t think you could improve on perfection,
but it would appear that you actually can.’——ALUN HOOD
‘A truly fabulous production. A stunning love letter to
musical theatre and a definite must-see’ ——ALL THAT DAZZLES
‘Oli is utterly charming, brilliant comedy timing,
gorgeous vocals’——ALL THAT DAZZLES
a masterclass’——LONDON THEATRE REVIEWS
‘Ms Lynch is the real deal,
the kind of talent they write shows for.’——ALUN HOOD
Venue: Theatre YOUNG · Main Stage (No. 1155 Kongjiang Road, Shanghai)
2023-10-18 Wed 19:30
2023-10-19 Thur 19:30
2023-10-20 Fri 19:30
2023-10-21 Sat 14:00
2023-10-21 Sat 19:30
2023-10-22 Sun 14:00
2023-10-22 Sun 19:30
Length: 100 minutes
Ticket collection method:
Please take your tickets at the Ticket Center of the YOUNG Theater (E2 gate of the theater) before the show, enter the ticket collection code on the self-service ticket machine with the 8-digit ticket collection code in the SMS which you received, and then enter the theater after exchanging the paper ticket.
Working hours of ticket center: 10:00 am-08:00 pm