Ordinary Days continues at London Theatre Workshop until 17 June.
Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩
Streetlights, People! Productions brings Adam Gwon’s musical Ordinary Days to London Theatre Workshop.
One of the Streetlights, People! goals is to create work that is ‘entertaining, relatable and thought provoking’, and in a time in which Londoners are uniting, the optimistic Ordinary Days ticks all of these boxes.
The story follows four New Yorkers in their quest for happiness. Gwon’s score tunefully syncs alongside the plucky optimism of the four characters, and when all four actors sing in harmony the sound is sublime.
It is a shame that these moments in the score are so few, as they are the highlights of the show, and when the four actors sing in harmony (under the musical direction of Rowland Braché) you wish you could hit ‘repeat’.
Tucked away at London Theatre Workshop, this Fringe production is a real gem of a show. Gwon’s score is bright, loud, colourful and bursting with the hope that brings the four characters together.
The story follows heartfelt Warren, histrionic Deb, doting Jason and his partner Claire as their ordinary lives connect and intertwine in New York City.
Nora Perone plays the highly-strung, melodramatic Deb alongside wide-eyed Warren, played by Neil Cameron.
Perone and Cameron are an endearing pair, and the comic timing of the former’s ‘Dear Professor Thompson’ is spot on.
Cameron steals many laughs throughout the show and has an infectious energy on stage.
The contrasting couple Claire and Jason (played by Kirby Hughes and Alistair Frederick) are delightful.
Hughes is exceptionally good as Claire, and her voice powers through the show, particularly in her rendition of ‘I’ll Be Here’, which is beautiful, and Frederick is charming as Jason.
It is Jen Coles’ direction that lets the production down. The plot calls for big characters, but there are several moments in the show where the characters turn into caricatures and they no longer feel relatable.
When this is combined with a plot that is resting on the audience connecting to these ordinary people, the show loses its beauty and just feels a bit wooden and, at points, far-fetched.
However, the desperate romanticism and positivity of Ordinary Days still makes one’s heart swell.