I am a sucker for a bit of romantic mush, so when I was invited to see She Loves Me at the lovely Landor I was all over it, especially in the weeks surrounding Valentine’s day!
She Loves Me isn’t exactly a thinker; it’s kind of like a You’ve Got Mail style lonely hearts musical set in the glamorous 1930’s. Despite a somewhat frothy story-line, I was a little confused at times during the show. For instance the initial receiving of the anonymous love letters was a touch glossed over and the crucial “shooting” in later scenes was barely audible.
The best thing about this production is some of the cast it has assembled; Charlotte Jaconelli was a magnificent Amalia Balash who’s cheeky face, fabulous hair and soaring vocals made her a delight to watch.
There were a few surprise performances of the evening; David Herzog played a hilarious “sidekick,” Ladislav Sipos, and truly shone during his musical number “Perspective.” The ensemble were also absolutely wonderful and really lifted the piece towards true professionalism. However the most delightfully surprising performance came from Ian Dring’s turn as the Waiter, leading the hysterically camp musical number “A Romantic Atmosphere.”
Other than the aforementioned “A Romantic Atmosphere,” the show seemed severely lacking in choreography, which is disappointing for a traditional Broadway musical. I understand that the Landor is somewhat restricted in terms of space, but this definitely left a bit of a theatrical hole in the production and something I feel deserved better attention from choreographer Robbie O’Reilly.
At first glance the set was a glossy, bright playing space and nicely established the perfume shop setting of the action as well as the mood of the piece. However on closer inspection there were a few irksome inconsistencies, for example I could see The Fault In Our Stars on the book shelf, which was certainly no Anna Karenina. Unless of course the characters were time travelers, which would have been an interesting plot twist!
Ultimately the show radiated a bright and breezy vibe and has a wealth of acting talent on display. It certainly could do with a little more attention to detail from Director Robert McWhir but by all means this was a solid and enjoyable fringe production.
She Loves Me runs at the Landor Theatre until Saturday the 7th March.