The Apple Tree

Tuesday, 24 September, 2002
Review by: 
Rex Bunnett

I saw the Landor Theatre production of The Apple Tree and had a delightful evening. This is advertised as the London premier which strictly speaking it is, but I did see another production by the Overground Theatre Company some decades ago somewhere between Richmond and Kingston. It's a piece that has always delighted me on disc and on stage it plays well. The Landor is above a pub theatre close to Clapham North tube and they have a liking for musicals which luckily they put a great deal of effort into producing well.

The Apple Tree is made up of three one act musicals all by Bock and Harnick (alone a reason for people to be rushing to see it). The first is the story of Adam and Eve, the next The Lady or the Tiger and lastly, Passionella - the story of a New York lady chimney sweep who gets her wish to be a movie star (but only at certain times of the day) - it has a gorgeous story line twist. The leads in all three pieces are played by the same couple although it is the female who has the best material and gets the opportunity to show off what overall talent she has. In Suzanne Joase the Landor have found a young lady who fits the part well and is so talented that she moves through the three so different parts with ease. Graham Dalton plays Adam with charm and is fine in the other two but with these the pieces themselves do not give him a chance to shine more. A young man to watch out for is Christopher Stewart who plays the balladeer in the Lady and the Tiger.

The first act is simply a three hander but is accompanied by a small and effective band of mainly young ladies. The band in the other two pieces join in as ensemble as well as playing instruments - all ingeniously directed by Robert McWhir who has the ability of making the small playing area a seemingly enormous stage forever changing at his whim.


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