The Last Five Years
At the Pump House Theatre, Watford
Thursday 26th - Saturday 28 November 2009
About The Show
If you were to tell the story of your last five years where would you start? The beginning? The end?
Jason Robert Brown’s award-winning musical tells of the relationship between emerging writer Jamie and struggling actress Cathy. The premise is familiar; the twist, however, comes in the narration, with Jamie telling his side of the story from beginning to end, while Cathy starts at the end and works backwards through their time together to the day it all began….
Jamie - Nadeem Crowe
Cathy - Bobbie Chatt
Elise - Joanne Goddard
Keyboard/Musical Director - Simon Beck
Violin - Brian Wright
Cello - Sarah Bowler
Cello - Yvonne Parsons
Acoustic Guitar - John Gregson
Electric Bass - Gareth Covey-Crump
Stewart Jordan and Miriam Evans
Front of House
Kathleen Paynter, Chantel Avis, Fay Knight, Katy Meehan
Gade Printing Services
Moonglow Dance Studio and Menier Chocolate Factory
Ralph Rapley - www.xmo4.com
Still Hurting - Cathy
Shiksa Goddess - Jamie
See I'm Smiling - Cathy
Moving Too Fast - Jamie
I'm A Part of That - Cathy
The Schmuel Song - Jamie
Summer In Ohio - Cathy
The Next Ten Minutes - Jamie and Cathy
A Miracle Would Happen / When You Come Home to Me - Jamie and Cathy
Climbing Uphill - Cathy
If I Didn't Believe In You - Jamie
I Can Do Better Than That - Cathy
Nobody Needs To Know - Jamie
Goodbye Until Tomorrow / I Could Never Rescue You - Cathy and Jamie
If you're not from the area, Watford's a fairly long way to go for a fix of musical theatre, but this very professional production of Jason Robert Brown's Last Five Years was more than worth the trek. Starring Nadeem Crowe, who debuted this summer as Tank in Zanna, Don't! and actress Bobbie Chatt, it tells the story of Jamie and Cathy's marriage from beginning to end, complete with ups and downs. The twist here is that Jamie tells his story forward, while Cathy tells hers backwards. The two meet in the middle, and the audience is able to see both sides of their tale.
MD Simon Beck and orchestra performed Jason Robert Brown's score beautifully, throwing power into the necessary places and letting the acting take the front seat in others. With strong, sweeping crescendos sharply followed by lovely clashes, it was hard to keep focus on the performances at points whenever the evocative music swelled.
Both Chatt and Crowe acquitted themselves well, utilising a minimal set that helped focus attention on the story and the vocals. Chatt brought a huge amount of emotion to Cathy from start to finish, allowing the audience to sympathise with the character despite her clearly unstable and often selfish nature, while Crowe's delightful vocal took attention away from Jamie's similarly self-serving actions and put it firmly on his good points.
A hard musical to perform at the best of times, this show only ran for three days - it's a pity it couldn't work up the courage to try for a full week!