Within the four cosy walls of the Old Joint Stock Theatre the audience were transported to the bustling streets of New York City as four people’s lives cleverly entwine in Adam Gwon’s beautiful tale, Ordinary Days.
This sung-through musical has been superbly crafted by the talented Old Joint Stock Theatre Company. Directed by Karl Steele, the entire space was used exceptionally well, immersing the audience into the action from the very start. From the subtle audience interactions, to the minimal staging it was utterly captivating.
All four performers were mesmerising. James Edge charmed as Jason. Edge possessed a genuine vulnerability onstage, particularly highlighted in Hundred-Story City, making for a sublime performance. Paired with Lisa MacGregor, who excellently portrayed Claire, there was a poignant growth to her character. Opening the second act, their duet of Fine was superbly delivered and considering the small space in which to play in, you felt like you had travelled across half of the city with them.
Alicia Barban’s Deb was a sheer masterclass in characterisation. She held the audience in the palm of her hand with her engrossing acting ability, and she had a great voice to match. Calm was the ideal vehicle to showcase her skills as both actor and singer, and cast alongside the endearingly wonderful Duncan Burt as Warren, there was a real spark to their onstage relationship. Barban and Burt brought much of the comedy through the night, with Dear Professor Thompson / Life Story garnering many a laugh.
But it was when the whole company joined together in the latter of Act Two that spines tingled. There is no denying the standout moment in the show was the Rooftop Duet / Falling and I'll Be Here. The simplistic design came into its own as a plethora of colourful umbrellas began to rotate above the stage and papers flew out over the audience, there was a real sense of euphoria. Instantly juxtaposing, MacGregor’s solo I'll Be Here, punches you in the gut. As tears welled in the eyes of other audience members (as well as my own), you could hear a pin drop. Performers and audience alike are exposed from the offset, and the intimacy of the Old Joint Stock really heightened the entire evening’s experience.
Under the accomplished Musical Direction of Nick Allen, the Old Joint Stock have yet again showcased talent in abundance and the entire show was nothing short of stunning.
There was no better way to escape a rather drab Friday night, it is simply theatre at its most wondrous.
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