Beyond Broadway

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Norwich Theatre Royal


The throb of music in passionate emotions, those melodies that always soar and sear as characters take emotion to its limits in a score of the most varied situations you can imagine – this is what makes up Beyond Broadway.

It is a celebration of the musical brought back from the past and shown in all today's vitality and exuberance.

There is the fun of greeting old favourites as they come back as sprightly as ever, and an extra pleasure in what amounts to a preview of what should be holding the stage in the next few months.

Good humour goes with expertise, and though there is no scenery, changes of costume add a certain something to what is being sung.

Husband and wife team Ed and Lynn O'Driscoll provide the core of the show, relaxed yet focused, always amusing yet ever ready to switch on the passion.

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The younger generation is represented by Sheri Copeland, with a particularly lovely lower register, and by Stephen Ashfield, a heart-throb tenor with lean looks to go with his attractive voice.

Backing is provided by percussion base and keyboard, held together at the piano by a tireless musical director, his title taking on a particular meaning in an entertainment like this.

Attempts to coax the audience into participation came to grief. Perhaps the gallery was a bit under-populated for that sort of thing.

But the performers knew better than to persist and it was not long before we settled back to an evening of nostalgia and novelty that ranged from Saigon to Paris, from Jeckyll and Hyde to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.