Harold and Maude, 4 Stars

Harold and Maude
Charing Cross Theatre
19th Feb to 31st March 2018

“Olivier Award-winning West End star Sheila Hancock and Bill Milner (Dunkirk, X-Men: First Class, Son of Rambow) are to star in the London premiere of the black comedy romantic drama Harold and Maude.
Harold and Maude by Colin Higgins reunites Sheila with director Thom Southerland after their acclaimed sold-out success with the UK premiere of the musical Grey Gardens in 2016.
It will premiere at Charing Cross Theatre, Thom Southerland, Artistic Director, Steven M. Levy, Managing Director, from Monday 19 February and run for a strictly limited run of 6 weeks to Saturday 31 March”

The production starts slowly with an actor quietly coming onto the stage while the house lights remain on. Some strange behaviour from such a young man then ensues (not described here to avoid spoiling the fun when you see the show). This sets the tone for the production – bizarre with dashings of Black Comedy.

The Set by Francis O’Connor reflects this bizarre theme with the interior drawing room opening out into the garden on one side while the window on the other side suggesting we’re not at garden level but actually in a brown stone walk-up on a higher floor overlooking other balconies. There’s a very strange highly magnified perspective to the Set design along with an addition of the living room ceiling painted to be the outdoor sky.

Clever lighting from Matt Clutterham takes full advantage of the Set and moving lights to pattern and transport us from interior, to evening, to outdoors in quite a wonderful way.

Act One is full of quirky eccentric characterizations that are truly funny! Act Two the same making for a fun evening, however the plot isn’t too punchy so Act Two does feel a little like more of the same rather than moving into groundbreaking territory. To describe any of the plot would give it away so you’ll have to go see the show for this!

The musicians who wander around upstaging the main action interject with cameo roles and are very polished. Personally I found them distracting. Although the highlight for the production has to be Samuel Townsend as a seal. Laugh out loud funny!!!

Production quality is superb (Leigh Porter)!

Just make sure you get a seat in the front half of this theatre as it feels like an auditorium in 2 halves and the back half is way back behind the gangway.

(Reviewed by Richard Lambert, 4 Stars)

Harold and Maude is produced by Steven M. Levy and Vaughan Williams. Consulting producer James Cass Rogers.

Steven M. Levy and Vaughan Williams
Harold and Maude
by Colin Higgins

Charing Cross Theatre
The Arches
Villiers Street

Box office: 08444 930650
Monday 19 February – Saturday 31 March

Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Matinees Wednesday at 2.30pm
and Saturday at 3.00pm
Ticket prices:
£35.00 stalls
£25.00 balcony
£17.50 slips
Premiums £42.50, which includes prime stalls locations, a programme and a glass of bubbly
A booking fee applies to phone and internet
orders; no booking fee to personal callers
The box office is open from 2 hours before curtain time on performance days