The Kissing Dance Review

“This is a production were the actor-musician element works very, very well.”

It is great to have another show from Howard Goodall in London. I’m still annoyed that Love Story failed, as it was to me, a perfect piece of theatre.  This time the Howard Goodall piece is The Kissing Dance with book and lyrics from Charles Hart. Although I saw the final performance of the show, I have decided to review it anyway.

In Nonesuch, young heiress Kate Hardcastle and her cousin Constance are preparing to receive ther suitors. Kate’s mother Mrs Hardcastle and the mischievous Tony Lumpkin have other plans. This leads to a fantastic musical comedy full of mistaken identity and disguise.

Gina Beck (Photo by Robert Workman)

Lotte Wakeham’s professional premiere played at the tiny Jermyn Street theatre, but had a very strong cast of 13, some of which provided the musical accomplishment. David Burt and Beverley Klein were the Hardcastle parents, a hilarious duo, with Beverley Klein having some particularly superb comic timing. Gina Beck reprised her role of Kate Hardcastle from the original National Youth Musical Theatre production. Gina’s voice is stunning, it sounded so effortless. Ian Virgo played her suitor Mr Marlow- I thought he was a great performer- very funny and charismatic.  Gemma Sutton took on the role of Constance, her voice is very pure and I enjoyed listening to Gina and Gemma sing together. Constance’s suitor was Mr Hastings, played by Dylan Taylor who was also very impressive. A mention has to be given to Jack Shalloo, who played Tony Lumpkin brilliantly-fantastic acting and spot on comic timing.

Lila Clements, Samuel Martin, David Alder, Greg Herst, Lauren Storer and Harriet Ougton added to a very strong, talented cast. This is a production were the actor-musician element works very, very well. I hope it has another run in the future. It certainly deserves it.

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