"Lots of very hummable tunes"
by Matthew Partridge for remotegoat on 23/07/15

One of the big debates in theatre is over the importance of the music, relative to other elements, such as acting, directing and lyrics, in determining the success of a musical. Some say that all the elements are important, while others say that the only thing that matters is whether it has enough “hummable tunes”. “I Sing”, as performed by SR Productions at the Drayton Arms, made the case for the latter approach.

The play follows the lives of five narcissistic New Yorkers. Heidi (Malindi Freeman) is a neurotic failed screenwriter living with her boyfriend, preppy investment banker Nicky (Steffan Lloyd-Evens). However, Nicky’s friend Alan (Daniel Mack Shand) has a secret crush on her. So when he leaves her for loose club promoter Pepper (Eleanor Sandars), he’s quick to try to take Nicky’s place. Meanwhile bisexual playboy Charlie (Louie Westwood) struggles to convince club promoter Pepper (Eleanor Sanders) he can be something more than a friend.

On the minus side the set was minimalist to the point where it was effectively performed as a concert (apart from one scene just after the break). The plot wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, with a very anticlimactic and downbeat ending. It was also hard to understand the meaning of some of the lyrics, especially the idea behind “all the children singing” (presumably a reference to the immaturity of the twenty-something protagonists).

However, none of this mattered because the tunes were extremely catchy, especially the numbers “I Sing”, “A Night at The Bar” and “Smile Through the Pain”. This was helped by the sheer enthusiasm of the actors, who really stepped into the shoes of their characters, making it easy to imagine them as a creepy teacher or loose party girl.
Despite the heat and the 8pm start, the audience was on their feet applauding by the end.

“I Sing” was directed by Glen Gaunt, produced by Jason Roger with Daniel Jarvis as the musical director.

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