REVIEW: Crazy For You, at Mayflower Theatre in Southampton

Tom Chambers as Bobby in Crazy For You. Picture by Richard Davenport
Tom Chambers as Bobby in Crazy For You. Picture by Richard Davenport

The Gershwin musical the Gershwins knew nothing about – Crazy For You – is at the Mayflower this week.

The show was created in the 1990s and this version was originally produced by the wonderful Watermill Theatre who specialise in musicals with quadruple-threat performers – actors, singers, dancers and instrumentalists. Yes – here we have an all-acting, all-singing, all-dancing and all-instrument-playing cast.

Leading the cast are Tom Chambers and Charlotte Wakefield. Wakefield is great as Polly and has a powerhouse of a voice, moving easily between belt and head. She dances well, too and convinces as the clichéd Western hick.

Chambers – as hero Bobby Child – is not so easy to praise. He lacks leading-man charisma and never seemed to scale the acting or singing heights although he is a more confident dancer. Indeed, by the end of the show his voice was tired and croaky and his rendition of Nice Work If You Can Get It suffered as a result.

The ensemble are slick in their musicianship, in particular the Cowboy Trio and especially, of them, Ned Rudkins-Stow who not only manages to sing and dance but manipulates a huge double-bass around the stage whilst getting a tune out of it. There’s a nice character-turn from Seren Sandham-Davis as the ditzy Patsy, too.

Until November 25.