The Independent London Newspaper


THEATRE: Little lives are fertile subject for a musical

James Robinson and Kate Batter in This Little Life of Mine

James Robinson and Kate Batter in This Little Life of Mine. Photo: Charlie Round-Turner

Published: 18 October, 2016

This Little Life of Mine at Park 90, Park Theatre

THIS intimate studio in the heart of London is the perfect venue to showcase an exciting new musical about metropolitan 30-somethings trying to live the dream. 

Written and directed by Michael Yale, it showcases an exceptional musical score by Charlie Round-Turner that illuminates the hearts and minds of its characters to brilliant effect.

Izzy (Kate Batter) and Jonesy (James Robinson) have just bought a tiny overpriced flat in Zone 2.

They are trying to have a baby, which proves painfully complicated, and the stress that this puts on their relationship forms the basis of the story. 

This is a brave and bold musical that doesn’t skirt issues, and Yale and Round-Turner are to be commended for effectively tackling difficult subjects that include infertility, loneliness and shattered dreams. It also cleverly highlights the gap between the images we share on social media and reality.

The songs are pure genius, many of which Stephen Sondheim would be proud. They range from the comic – about being an unappreciated coffee barista, “swingers” and getting drunk – to the poignant: bittersweet odes on being a mother and the pain of loss. 

Sensitive musical accompaniment is provided by Thomas Duchan (keyboard) and Daisy Heath (cello). 

The excellent cast, led by the exquisite vocal talent of Batter is truly stellar. Greg Barnett and Caroline Deverill play a variety of supporting roles with skill and gusto, and James Robinson brings a tender vulnerability to the role of Jonesy.

Some of the dialogue is a bit clunky, but overall this is a brilliant new musical that deserves a West End transfer.

Until October 29
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