An alternative Valentines offering can be found at the Old Joint Stock this weekend as Starbuck Theatre Company present The Guide to Being Single. Having seen the premiere of this show when Starbuck originally performed it; it was a delight to see it performed within the intimate surroundings of the Old Joint Stock. With minimal set, it allowed the acting and singing to shine through in this polished production.
Following the story of a group of twenty-somethings, this musical comedy is a laugh-out-loud show, presented by an exceptionally talented group of performers. The comic timing was sublime and the characterisation on point throughout.
Sophie Grogan's Heather was utterly brilliant. From loved up to broken up, her facial expressions spoke a thousand words, with superb vocals throughout. She was paired well with the hapless Zack (Jack Scott-Walker) who always seems to make the wrong decisions and can never turn up anywhere on time.
The trio of Liza (Leila Thompson), Stacy (Holly Russell) and Dude (Edd Pope) ensured the pace of the show never faltered, whether it was little skits in between scenes or the abundance of awkward looks, pregnant pauses and multiple character changes - they kept the audience laughing throughout. Particular highlights included Thompson and Russell's duet about getting out of the bathroom and into the bar and Thompson's hilarious walk on part as a security guard.
Bringing the show together is the fiery relationship between Jackie (Sarah Pavlovs) and Derek (Robert Dearn). Both following the 25 rules in 'The Guide to Being Single' they are determined to stick to them, but it seems there is more fun in breaking them. The chemistry between Pavlovs and Dearn was palpable and the audience were drawn into their world.
The casting was nothing short of perfect and with the support of MD/Piano Chris Corcoran, harmonies were tight. Comedy is always a difficult genre to execute well, but Starbuck have done just that and judging by the audience reaction, it certainly is a show not to miss this weekend.
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