Friday, 24 July 2015

Review: Seven Brides For Seven Brothers at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers
Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 23rd July 2015

Picture this - you're out and about minding your own business, start chatting to a guy and end up marrying him a few hours later. It's all going swimmingly until you move into his house and discover he has six brothers and only married you because he needs someone to do the cooking and cleaning.

In 2015 Seven Brides For Seven Brothers is extremely politically incorrect, but thankfully Rachel Kavanaugh's new production at the Open Air Theatre sets the tone light-heartedly so we can laugh at how ridiculously silly the storyline is (unlike the 2013 touring production which felt incredibly tired and dated). 

The first ten minutes are a little slow, but as soon as the first big musical number 'Goin' Courtin' arrives Seven Brides For Seven Brothers is thoroughly entertaining right through to the end. Alistair David's choreography is absolutely incredible as the brothers go from shy and scruffy boys to groomed and confident men - it is terrific, bizarre fun. 

The cast is led by Laura Pitt-Pulford as Milly Bradon and Alex Gaumond as Adam Pontipee, two of the most versatile actors working in musical theatre. Pitt-Pulford is an absolute dream, bringing heart and feistiness to her performance. Gaumond's character is less likeable, yet he still brings occasional charm. Both Pitt-Pulford and Gaumond showcase strong vocals, and it is a joy to see them sharing the stage.

James Leece (Benjamin), Ed White (Caleb), Leon Cooke (Daniel), Bob Harms (Ephraim), Adam Rhys-Charles (Frank) and Sam O'Rourke (Gideon) show off immense talent as the six brothers. Their execution of David's choreography couldn't be any more precise. As a unit they do not put a foot wrong and share unbreakably strong chemistry. Some of the tricks incorporated into the musical numbers stopped me in my tracks, Cooke in particular dazzles with phenomenal acrobatic ability. The entire ensemble pull off all the big numbers, lighting up the stage with infectious energy.

It's so important that Seven Brides For Seven Brothers is taken with an enormous pinch of salt. Pacing itself well, the evening flies by. It is possibly one of the craziest, most ridiculous musicals ever written, but Kavanaugh's production doesn't take itself too seriously - I found myself crying with laughter.

I always love spending a glorious evening at the Regent's Park Theatre. Following the tremendous success of Peter Pan and The Seagull, this year's season has been unmissable. Hats off to artistic director Timothy Sheader and the Open Air Theatre's team for staging such creative and fresh productions which lend themselves to the stunningly unique outdoor setting; I can’t wait to see what they tackle next year!

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers runs at the Open Air Theatre until 29th August 2015.
Please visit for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks

1 comment:

  1. Next year? If they've any sense, PAL JOEY. It is SO overdue a revival.