Simon and Garfunkel Story, Lyric Theatre

3-5-stars

It would be almost impossible not to enjoy a show based on the wonderful music of Simon and Garfunkel. The melodic joy they brought the world is simply wonderful and so I was delighted to attend the Simon and Garfunkel story to see for myself how this was going to translate into a West End show.

Charles Blyth & Sam O_Hanlon (l-r) in The Simon & Garfunkel Story. Photo by Jacqui Wilson 0943

The true answer is that doesn’t quite but by the end, that didn’t really matter. The show has some issues it could do with sharpening up, but the two leads were so charming that all was more than forgiven.

I was particularly impressed by Charles Blyth as Art who not only had almost as beautiful a singing voice as the original but had a great sense of Garfunkel’s physicality. It was slightly odd then that despite being in costume – and often character – the story was told not through impressions of Paul and Art but through short vignettes told by the actors in their own voices. This slightly broke the illusion.

Overall, the show suffers from not quite knowing what it wants to be. Were they a tribute act, I would expect the illusion of character to be kept up throughout. Were this a stage play, I would expect a bit more of the story, even at the expense of some of the wonderful music.

In the end, though, these are superficial issues that don’t detract from what was a great night out. The audience was swept along by the music and the whole band – especially Sam O’Hanlon as Paul and their band leader bassist Leon Camfield – attacked the performance with the kind of joyous gusto you can’t fail to be charmed by.

Not quite one thing or another in terms of it’s staging it may be, but The Simon and Garfunkel Story definitely left me feelin’ groovy.

The Simon and Garfunkel Story is touring the UK and appearing at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue on selected dates http://www.thesimonandgarfunkelstory.com/tour-dates/ 

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