Review: Ordinary Days, Cockpit Theatre

SLAM. theatre give a warm account of Adam Gwon’s amiable musical Ordinary Days at the Cockpit Theatre

“I’ll bring the red, you bring the white
That way I’ll still get drunk, you’ll still be right”

Having been around a bit, I love the fact that the first time I saw Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days at the Trafalgar Studios in 2011, it just happened to feature such actors as Alexia Khadime, Daniel Boys and the glorious Julie Atherton in the cast. I also caught a stirring version a couple of years ago from Streetlights, People!, proving it is a musical that endures and so I was interested to see SLAM. theatre’s interpretation over at the Cockpit Theatre.

At first glance, Ordinary Days appears just that, a simple four-hander about love and life in New York. But pay a little attention, peel back a layer or two, and there’s something much more nuanced here about the loneliness that can accompany metropolitan living, whether looking for romance or friendship, as the emotional distance we use to try and protect ourselves can sometimes end up isolating us. And also how art galleries aren’t necessarily all that… 😉

Andy Patterson and Emma Harvey’s production is attractively designed, an array of pastel-hued boxes offer practicality and flexibility in evoking any number of locales. The stripped-back aesthetic allows for a real focus on performances and there’s some real treats here. Frustrated grad student Deb is a gift of a role and Charlotte George tackles her with just enough bite to her sharp-edged humour and general scepticism about the world.

And Jeremy Sartori brings real warmth to Jason, a decent chap trying to be there for his wife even as he drives her up the wall with his habits. As their respective partners, Anthony Rickman and Betty Jones both give warm, sweet-voiced turns but could both usefully work on projection, the height of the auditorium occasionally swallowing them up as MD John Reddel plays from on high. An amiable production then, of a most amiable musical. 

Running time: 70 minutes (without interval)
Ordinary Days is booking at the Cockpit Theatre until 21st September

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