Thursday, 8 January 2015

Review: The Grand Tour at the Finborough Theatre

Zoë Doano, Alastair Brookshaw & Nic Kyle

The Grand Tour 
Finborough Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 7th January 2015

Jerry Herman's musical The Grand Tour was a big flop on Broadway when it opened in 1979. Thirty-six years later the piece is receiving its European premiere at the Finborough Theatre which is looking smaller than ever.

Some shows don't make it over the pond for a very good reason; these old, forgotten pieces are sometimes old and forgotten for a very good reason, but The Grand Tour is a nice little show with a stunning score. It's rare and special to discover such a beautiful musical for the first time.

Set in 1940 France, Herman's show - which is based on Jacobowsky and the Colonel by SN Behrman - sees a Polish Jewish intellectual (played by Alastair Brookshaw) and an anti semitic Polish colonel (played by Nic Kyle) thrown together as they attempt to flee the Nazi invasion of France.

The text may contain one or two clunky moments, but Thom Southerland's production is mostly slick. There is more to Philip Lindley's neat design than first meets the eye whilst Cressida CarrĂ©'s choreography works well in the tiny performance space - it doesn't feel squashed. In fact, I can't imagine The Grand Tour working so well anywhere else, it is well suited to an intimate venue.

The highlight of the night is the enchanting opening number 'I'll Be Here Tomorrow' which is performed by Brookshaw who steals the show with his effortless vocals. The cast are mostly strong, bringing the jolly company numbers to life with charm and character.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

The Grand Tour at the Finborough Theatre until Saturday 21st February 2015.
Please visit for further information and tickers.

Photo Credit: Annabel Vere

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