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Sarah Crown
Theatre Correspondent
7:16 AM 1st September 2021
arts

Tell Me On A Sunday - But Watch This Any Day!

Although originally written four decades ago, this beautifully crafted and iconic musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black is a timeless piece of musical theatre.

This one-act show tells of the ups and downs of an eternally optimistic, but ordinary English girl living in New York City searching for love and a green card, only to finally realise that she is lonely and alone, having probably looked for love in all of the wrong places and amongst all the wrong men!

As everyone over a certain age knows, there is no ‘right’ place to find love as relationships and affairs of the heart are the same the world over.

This time it was the turn of Jodie Prenger to take the role of Emma as she successfully reached out to all those in the audience who had experienced more than their fair share of love, loss, anger, jealousy and cynicism.

Performing to imaginary people convincingly is difficult and requires stagecraft and concentration but Jodie was both convincing and brilliant. As the clever lyrics told their story her perfectly clear voice was both soft and vulnerable or powerful and angry depending upon the song’s underlying emotion.

I thought that the scenery was effective and creative. Downstage were Emma’s living quarters whilst the middle stage area depicted an almost three dimensional New York skyline, including a miniature Statue of Liberty and for those who can remember them, the Twin Towers.

Upstage and almost out of sight, there was a live band led by Francis Goodhand, the Musical Director.

A series of quick costume changes, use of small props and subtle changes of lighting on the New York sky line helps everyone follow Emma across America as she stumbles headlong from one unsuitable relationship to another.

After the interval, Jodie, ably accompanied by Francis Goodman at the piano, belts out a completely unexpected version of Oompah-pah from ‘Oliver’ – audience participation was both encouraged and received.

Questions from the audience were taken and answered along with a selection of amusing anecdotes confirming that Jodie would be the life and soul of any party.

To bring the evening to a close we were all introduced to Jodie Beth Meyer, (Jodie’s understudy) who treated us to a beautiful rendition of ‘Whistle down the Wind’. A gracious moment from the ‘star’.

To round off the evening the two Jodie’s performed another favourite, the duet of ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall’ from Evita.

Originally from Blackpool, Jodie, certainly gives value for money and is an accomplished and confident performer who has come far since her rise to fame in 2008 when she triumphed in the TV show ‘I’d Do Anything’ being chosen to play Nancy in the West End revival of Lionel Bart’s Oliver.

It’s so good to be back watching live theatre again and tonight an appreciative audience enjoyed a great evening’s entertainment.

Tell Me on a Sunday
The Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
Until Saturday 4th September (Thursday and Saturday Matinee Performances)