Tomorrow may be my last
Old Red Lion Theatre
14th Feb to 6th May 2023
“Back by popular demand, this three-month residency is headed by renowned singer-songwriter and actor Collette Cooper, who captures the true essence of legendary 60’s rock star Janis Joplin. Set against the backdrop of a Woodstock-vibe music festival in the height of the Summer of Love and backstage in her dressing room, Tomorrow May Be My Last marks a key moment in Joplin’s all too brief existence. Nominated for four Off West End Awards, including Best Musical Production and Best Leading Actor, and winner of the London Pub Theatre Standing Ovation Award for Best Solo Show written by Performer, this astounding production features all of Joplin’s greatest hits – alongside original material.
With an incredible live band on stage, original music and a true rock feel, Tomorrow May Be My Last features all the elements of a West End show in an intimate, affordable setting with a complimentary Southern Comfort cocktail with every ticket!”
Review by Richard Lambert, 4 Stars
Collette Cooper’s engaging performance grips from her first entrance to her final bow. An incredible actor and singer who sounds amazing with an edge to her voice that’s a match for Janis Joplin. As many will know, Janis didn’t have an easy time of it, bullied at school, dismissed by her peers, elders and teachers she advocated to stop the war and equality and respect for everyone. But, as they say, only the good die young and her wonderful legacy is proudly presented in this production.
Highlighting how the Authorities put obstructions in place against her peaceful protests makes for a fascinating study which resonates loudly with our own current society.
Intermixed with songs that are reproduced with authenticity is a backing band of 3 live musicians, placing the audience into the wonderful new emerging genre of “Gig Theatre”.
The Set design works really well. The space is divide into 3 sections. There’s the living room section which has the sofa, dressing rail, drinks trolley, candles, rug and throws and feels both decadent and comfortable. The space downstage of the living room area is the performance space for the “Gigs” which leads upstage to the band area. Overhead bunting links and divides the spaces.
The lighting could do with a tweak. The front focus looks to have dropped causing unnecessary dark faces and the rear lighting would work better after a re-focus. Similarly, the video splashes on the lighting rig fixtures and the actor’s face which could easily be avoided. The video content is fine but it needs re-positioning and re-cueing to not cut the scene ahead of the scene change and before the final scene lines. The soundtrack in places is too loud becoming obtrusive rather than enhancing. It’s a shame that what would otherwise be a perfect 5 Star production, for reasons that do not cost a penny, hold the show back.
The Directing and Dramaturg could also benefit from a few changes. Ending every song in an upstage pose becomes predictable and Janis’ speech in reported style lacks the punch that being in the moment now and again might otherwise deliver.
The producers have made a brave decision to perform a 3 month residency in a pub theatre. There is time to fix the production values.
But having said all that, you’ll love this show for its power, the songs, the story and spend an incredible 90 mins in the company of a wonderful performer.
Photo Credit Robin Pope
Tomorrow May Be My Last
Dates Tuesday 14th February – Saturday 6th May 2023
Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm Saturday matinees, 3pm
Tickets are available from https://www.oldredliontheatre.co.uk/TMBML.html
Location Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John Street, London, EC1V 4NJ Tickets Tickets are available from £15 – £25 including a complimentary Southern Comfort cocktail and post-show music at certain shows
Social Media @collettecooper @thelonious_pp @orltheatre Collette Cooper
Collette Cooper is an award winning, critically acclaimed actor and musician. She was named Musician of the Year by Darkus Magazine and was winner of Solo Show Written by Performer at the London Fringe Theatre, The Standing Ovation Awards in 2022. Tomorrow May Be My Last is also nominated for four awards in the Off-West End Awards with Collette being shortlisted for Best Musical Performance.
As an actor, Collette has worked with the likes of Jane Campion, Samantha Morton, Michael Winterbottom and more. Her music has been played on BBC Radio 6 Music, Radio 2, BBC Radio London, as well as winning record of the week at JazzFM and more, including her latest release, a Christmas themed album Darkside of Christmas.