Boy meets Boy, a musical comedy by Bill Solly and Donald Ward, tells the story of American journalist Casey O’Brien who is in London to cover the story of the abdication of King Edward VIII. However, he ends up chasing after the mysterious “English Rose”, a man described as charming and exceptionally handsome who has jilted the rich and self-absorbed Clarence Cutler at the altar.
After being shown off-Broadway for the first time in 1975 this show now finally gets its UK premiere at Jermyn Street Theatre. What strikes first is that the story is set in an entirely re-imagined 1930s in which the marriage between two men is just as common as the union of man and woman.
Stephen Ashfield returns to Jermyn Street Theatre to star as Casey O’Brien. Best known for his portrayal of Bob Gaudio in the original London cast of Jersey Boys he now steps into the shoes of the American journalist who thinks love is a fun pastime but shouldn’t be taken seriously. From the first time he appears on stage right until the curtain call he manages to captivate the audience with his performance. His voice suits the songs perfectly, his acting is absolutely spot on – and who would have thought Stephen had a hidden talent for tap dancing?
Ben Kavanagh is without a doubt the second star of the show. He portrays the completely self-centred Clarence Cutler with just the right amount of humour and a twinkle in the eye. His hilariously funny rendition of “Me” has the audience in stitches but he never ridicules his character and makes sure Clarence isn’t downgraded to a common laughing-stock. He’s one of those “bad guys” you can’t help but love.
Craig Fletcher gives a solid and charming performance as Guy Rose. The character itself simply isn’t as interesting as Casey and Clarence which makes it a bit hard to stand up to Stephen and Ben. On the other hand the wonderfully funny “A Boy’s Life” (performed by Craig and Stephen) is definitely a highlight and shows what a talent Craig Fletcher is.
This gem of a show is yet another triumph for Jermyn Street Theatre. It’s funny, clever and heart-warming with some beautiful tunes and great lyrics. Performed in this intimate space the audience truly feels part of the story. And even though the stage is tiny the cast still manages to deliver some impressive dance numbers.
Make sure you don’t miss out on this production. It’s only running for a month so you will have to be quick. But trust me, you won’t regret it!
Casey O’Brien: Stephen Ashfield
Guy Rose: Craig Fletcher
Andrew: Johnjo Flynn
Clarence Cutler: Ben Kavanagh
Lady Rose / Josephine La Rose: Anna Nicholas
Benjamin Bailey, Carly Mackelvie, Nicola Martin, Gregory Sims, Biancha Szynal, Helen Turner, Jay Webb, Aron Wild
Boy meets Boy is running at Jermyn Street Theatre until 20th December 2012. For more info and to book tickets go to http://www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk.