Tell Me On A Sunday by Andrew Lloyd Webber & Don Black
The Watermill Theatre production
Starring Jodie Prenger, directed by Paul Foster
At Curve: 12-16 October 2021
“A girls loves found and lost in America”
The original score for Tell Me was premiered, as so often with Lloyd Webber shows, at his Sydmonton Festival in 1979 starring Marti Webb. The positive reception was so good that it was filmed in a theatre and broadcast on the BBC. This led to the soundtrack album becoming a chart topper. The score , all songs and no dialogue, only ran for less than 60 minutes so Lloyd Webber, after advice from Cameron Mackintosh, decided to create a dance piece to create an Act 2. This went out as Song and Dance with a variety of singers and, starting with Wayne Sleep, a selection of dancers.
In 2003 5 extra songs were created and the story rewritten by Jackie Clune to enable the show to stand alone. In this format it has been touring off and on ever since. Jodie Prenger starred in the Watermill Theatre revival in 2016 and has been touring it bringing it to Curve for a week.
Emma, the girl of the story, is a naïve young woman from Muswell Hill who has moved to America in search of love. In New York she discovers her boyfriend has been tom- catting it around the city. Walking out on him she soon falls for Hollywood producer Sheldon Bloom and tries to change to become what he wants in a trophy girlfriend. But Sheldon is way too busy being in the film industry to give her the attention she deserves so once again she goes back to the Big Apple. One after another she hooks up with guys who only want one thing, only to have it rubbed in her face by her so called friends.
A series of conversations with various people and letters to her mother back in Blighty fill out her experiences.
Alone on a stage Jodie Prenger fills Curve’s studio space without amplification. Her full voice reaching the back stalls with ease. A As she acts out the various emotions it is immediately obvious what is going on. A minimum of props and several (very quick) costume changes show Emma’s criss crossing of America as she chases another possible Mr Right.
A band of 4 live musicians lurk behind a set depicting the New York skyline.
I remember seeing Marti Webb in this show and Jodie Prenger more than matches her performance and is well worth seeing
Tell Me On A Sunday is at Curve til Saturday 16th October.