Well, not really a review, more a call to action. This was supposed to be a night off for Andrew but seeing Maria Friedman and the Great British Songbook at the Shaw Theatre seemed like as good a way as any of winding down after a week spent mostly listening to Christian Bale remixes.
The show is supposed to be a response to the ubiquitous Great American Songbook but does Britain really have one?
Miss Friedman admitted that when the idea was first put to her she and realised she only had three British songs in her repertoire, an imbalance which she and MD Jason Carr have duly rectified with a deliciously catholic cocktail of songwriters from Purcell to Kate Bush by way of Charlie Chaplin, Noel Coward, Lionel Bart, Tony Hatch, The Beatles, Anthony Newley, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Benjamin Britten and Monty Python.
This must have been quite a steep learning curve for Miss Friedman and the audience forgave her understandably occasional lapses of lyrical memory which she confessed to with good grace.
Indeed it’s such a warm-hearted show that only the most churlish pedant would point out that “(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover” was actually written by two Americans – Walter Kent and Nat Burton.
Anyway, if you are an admirer of Miss Friedman’s work or even if you aren’t but you just fancy immersing yourself in a wonderfully curated evening of 20th century song then get down to the Shaw Theatre today(Saturday) – it’s sadly the last night of the run.
Afterthought: Memo to Friedman and Carr: How about something from the dear departed Kirsty MacColl next time round? “There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis”?