★★★★ | Apartment 40C
Relationships are difficult things; from their tenuous beginnings through to their rocky patches, moments of pure joy and sometimes bitter dissolutions. Apartment 40c looks at the lifespan of a relationship of a New York couple by looking at their lives over the course of three pivotal evenings.
Tom Lees and Ray Rackham’s clever new musical uses six actors to play the same two characters at different points in their lives. The characters often mingle on stage, unaware of the existence of their older or younger incarnations.
Fresh-faced Alex Crossley and Alex James Ellison lend a romantic comedy element to the piece, playing the couple when they first meet in the apartment. Lizzie Wofford and the handsome hunk Drew Weston play the couple as they hit a difficult patch with brooding resentment, differences of opinion and betrayal threatening their once blissful intimacy. Nova Skipp (last seen in the incredible Damn Yankees at The Landor) and Peter Gerald play the couple in later life, returning to the apartment to arrange its sale.
The story is well balanced with comedic moments, poignant numbers and rousing passionate songs. The music and lyrics are as good as you’d hear in any big West End musical (if not better, at times). Tom Lees and Ray Rackham’s show has a touch of Sondheim about it in places but ultimately has a unique and very distinct style of its own. The cast are spectacular with a standout performance from Lizzie Wofford who has the most amazing voice and is a breathtakingly accomplished actress. Drew Weston’s torso is worthy of a mention too. The sight of his six pack as he strode on stage in nothing but a towel led to a lot of shuffling and creaking of seats in the theatre.
The set is well constructed and barring a few weak moments, this is an outstanding musical and a rare treat. Catch it while you can and I can almost guarantee that you’ll also catch some rising stars of theatre.
Apartment 40C runs until the 20th of December at the London Theatre Workshop.
Chris is a theatre and book obsessed Midlander who escaped to London. He’s usually to be found slumped in a seat in a darkened auditorium.