This isn’t a Jon Bon Jovi jukebox musical. Well it is and it isn’t. It’s definitely a very clever deconstruction and fond parody of the West End’s big hitters though.
Paul O’Donnell tells us that he’s written We’ve Got Each Other, he’s cast it, there’s going to be choreography by Bruno Tonioli and an anticipated 12 Olivier awards. But he massively underestimated how much it would cost – so we just have to imagine it as he brings the show into being on an empty stage.
Then he sits in a chair and describes the show, scene by scene, down to every plot point and plié.
A lot of it is properly brilliant, taking the piss out of shows like West Side Story, Blood Brothers, Les Mis as well as formulaic jukeboxers with plots painfully contrived from the lyrics of some artists’ songs.
O’Donnell could pick up the pace of the delivery. His slow, sardonic deadpan works well for some of the lines, but by maintaining that tempo throughout, even as well scripted as this is, the show slows too much.
But in the end, more than being a fond takedown of musicals-by-numbers, it’s a really quite sweet celebration of imagination, culminating in the strange image of a room full of people wildly applauding an empty stage.