“How the hell could you expect us to fight and then connect”
The magic of a good set design – Chris De Wilde’s innovative use of the space of the Landor for their production of Tomorrow Morning is still crystal-clear in my mind despite being nearly five years and god knows how many shows ago. Laurence Mark Wythe’s show premiered four years before that though in 2006 at Hampstead’s now-defunct New End Theatre and that production, directed by Nick Winston and MD Matthew Brind, got the official cast recording treatment.
The show tracks a day in the life of John and Kat, 20-somethings on the verge of getting married, and Jack and Catherine who are older and about to get divorced. Are they the same couple at different stages in their relationship or two separate couples, well that would be telling but Wythe’s book, lyrics and music take us through a range of musical influences to paint the vast scope of emotional experiences on display here.
Who knew ‘The Reasons Behind Our Impending Divorce’ could be so naggingly tuneful? Or that the attempted execution of coitus could be as amusing as in ‘The Time Is Coming’. Wythe’s musical style is very much in the school of post-Sondheim composers like Jason Robert Brown, not yet quite as misanthropic as the veteran but the dynamic depth of the full spectrum of human experience fromt he mundane to the extreme explored interestingly in this/these relationship(s).
It is of course a well-chosen cast, you wouldn’t expect anything less from an official recording, but there’s a real thrill in hearing esteemed classicist Emma Williams throwing herself whole-heartedly into the modern character of the new writing here and matched with Stephen Ashfield’s gorgeously open baritone, the future seems so full of possibility for them. The other side of the coin is no less moving though as Annette McLaughlin and Alistair Robbins pick over a marriage gone wrong with rueful rancour.