Romance Romance March 1997

Saturday, 15 March, 1997

In act one the first story is called "The Little Comedy", which is based on an Arthur Schnitzler story. It is set in Vienna at the turn of the century and is about a man and a woman who lie about their true identities when they first meet. This is because they are bored of their wealthy life and wanted to meet someone who liked them for themselves and not their money. Josefine, pretended to be a seamstress and Alfred pretended to be a penniless poet, but will their love last when the truth is discovered?

This is a tacky, silly story with a boring repetitive musical score. Each song had the same sound that eventually makes you fall to sleep or shuffle a lot in your seat. I was not alone, you could tell by looking at the body language of the audience and hearing the moderate applause of each song that the story and music is sadly lacking in quality.

The second story is called "Summer Share" which is about two close friends of many years, who are male (Sam) and female (Monica). However, Sam's wife Barb, played by Linzi Hateley and Monica's husband Lenny, played by Michael Cantwell are worried about this friendship. Will Sam and Monica's relationship stay platonic?

This second story is a lot better than the first, but not much! The music is just as drab, lacking in any originality.

Romance Romance is a very small scale musical that is lost here in the West End. It belongs back on the Fringe , in a smaller intimate space where I'm sure it would be more effective and the audiences would not expect anything too great from the score.

However, I have to say that Caroline O'Connor puts in a fine performance in both acts, a very talented lady in deed deserving of being in something a lot better than this.

This has been a bizarre week for me in that the two shows I've seen in the last 5 days are better suited to the Fringe, the other being Woman On the Verge Of HRT, at the Vaudeville. Both are not selling well at the box office and Romance Romance was the only musical at the half price ticket booth tonight , and for a musical to be half pricing it on a Saturday night, its future does not look bright.

(Darren Dalglish)

Looking for the best seats...