Me and My Girl review at Crucible Sheffield
It was in 1984 that Me and My Girl, a pre-Second World War period musical with a score by Noel Gay, was gloriously remade at Leicester’s former Haymarket Theatre with a script revised by Stephen Fry, before going on to conquer the West End and even, improbably, Broadway, where star Robert Lindsay established himself overnight as a leading man of musicals. Now it’s the turn of Sheffield’s Crucible to remake the remake, and in a joyful, effervescent production directed by Anna Mackmin, they have a storming success that is sure to be just the beginning of a new life for the show.
We all dream of winning the lottery but L. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber’s book shows the strings that are attached when a Lambeth barrow boy suddenly wins life’s lottery and discovers that he is, in fact, heir to the late Earl of Hareford and inherits a country pile. But in the hilarious clash of the English obsession with class that follows, he is also expected to subscribe to the way of life (and wife) that goes with it.
In this male version of Pygmalion, he acquires the accent but refuses to ditch his fishmonger girlfriend Sally, much to the consternation of his newly-acquired aunt, the Duchess of Dene (played with trademark barnstorming glee by Miriam Margolyes).
Mackmin carefully negotiates the fine line between the show’s comedy and its romantic heart, superbly driven by the expertise and rapport of Daniel Crossley – fast emerging as a comic leading man who can also sing and dance up a storm – as Bill Snibson, and the charming Jemima Rooper as Sally.
Beautifully designed by Peter McKintosh who puts both a South London terrace and Hareford Hall on stage, and choreographed with punchy delight by Stephen Mear that even has Bill swinging from a chandelier, this show hits the jackpot in every way.
Crucible, Sheffield, December 2-January 29
- L. Arthur Rose, Douglas Furber, Noel Gay, Stephen Fry, Mike Ockrent
- Anna Mackmin
- Sheffield Theatre
- Cast includes
- Daniel Crossley, Jemima Rooper, Miriam Margolyes, Patrick Ryecart, Richard Dempsey, Josefina Gabrielle
- Running time
- 2 hrs 35 mins