When Harry Met Barry at Above the Stag reviewed by Stephen Vowles

Boyz theatre critic Stephen Vowles rediscovers an Above the Stag classic in a refreshed and rebooted When Harry Met Barry.

When Harry Met Barry is a frothy, quirky musical with clever use of poetic lyrics and overlapping character stories. This is the story of four people, two relationships and what happens when a meeting by chance throws a spanner in the works.

Steven Dexter’s sharp directorial style makes the whole thing zip along and this style also eagerly exploits writer Paul Emelion Daly’s obvious wicked sense of humour as this musical has it all, including a puppet show and two cast members on roller skates – Austin Garrett as Spencer and Maddy Banks as Alice. Kudos to both of them for making great use of the limited space.

Daly also makes sure that this musical has a soul and heart to it as he touches on the inevitable dos and don’ts and ups and downs that starting and maintaining a relationship can bring, and what society expects of you.

The songs are comic ditties constructed like modern pop where the hook is important and results in the audience whistling a merry tune. Brandon Gale as Harry and Sam Peggs as Barry bounce off each other and both know how to get a laugh.

This is a fun romp and even if the demise of two of the characters is not happy one, we still cheer. There is a song in the show performed by the whole company called What Do You Do? and my answer to that is get yourself a ticket for this as it will put a smile on your face.

When Harry Met Barry runs until 4 June at Above the Stag Theatre, 17 Miles Street, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1RZ.

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