Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Spectacular stage adaptation of the famous movie, which is so packed with songs, comedy and special effects that it's practically a pantomime, in a good way!

The opening of the play sees a couple arguing at the cinema, in front of a gigantic cinema-screen on which the woman's husband is imploring her to return. When she walks towards the screen, she disappears through it and into the black-and-white picture. Well, the screen is obviously a curtain containing a vertical slit, but in the circumstances it hides itself rather well by looking like a wet-gate scratch on the film. I know, I ruin these things by looking for how they're done.

The surreal tone continues throughout, as we delve into period music-hall numbers, ensuring that one's attention never wanders. The whole cast are strong musicians as well as literally strong performers - Laura swings one-handed from a chandelier at one point!

Then at the end there's an absolutely awesome special-effect, in which a full-size black-and-white train bullets across the stage, as Laura stands on an iron bridge above, ready to throw herself over. There was no whacking great big screen there before the train came on, so I sat there absolutely mesmerised, and at a complete loss. How, I wondered in the style of Des Lynam, did they do that?

When the effect finished, I just glimpsed how. Incredible.

If it wasn't for the extra-marital nature of the material, this would be a terrific family show.

In fact, given its message, it arguably is.

10 out of 10!

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