Scatter of Opinion

Sweet Dove

The Mirror Never Lies
RJR Musicals


Expectations: 3/5
Reality Rating: 2/5
Fidget Factor: 0.7

The Sweet Dove Died

The Mirror Never Lies is based on Barbara Pym’s novel, The Sweet Dove Died (1978). Where women are seen as delicate pieces of beauty, to be owned and hounded by men. Leading Lady, Leonora is a widow of a wealthy marriage seeking out new company of the younger variety. A tale of unwanted lust and forgotten love unravels.

mirrornever1Francesca Ellis plays an articulate Leonora, her soft Julie Andrews tones are engaging, with a singing voice to match. Ryan Frank and Jennifer Harraghy also bring fantastic vocals to the production, in particular during the sweet song, ‘Each Others Guide’ – ‘Turn on, tune in, drop out’. Although some of the audience could only hear this number, as they were above a section of seating when performing the scene and obscured from view. Humphrey (Jon Osbaldeston) delivers an uncomfortable scene, with lyrics to make any feminist’s skin crawl, ‘women, each one a joy. Bouncing playmates for a boy’ and ‘the choices are delicious’ when objectifying women.

Lacking a set, the audience are introduced to the 60s scene by a montage of London, Carnaby Street back in the psychedelic era. This would work fantastically if it were to echo through the performance, however the 60s is left behind on the screen.

Unfortunately this production didn’t find it’s musical style, with songs appropriate for Hairspray and The Last Five Years mixed in with numbers you could expect from Gypsy or Show Boat. However, as a brand new musical – The Mirror Never Lies does hold potential with some funky, upbeat numbers performed by Spencer O’Brien. The story line lacks direction, and leaves the audience a little distracted.

It will be interesting to see if The Mirror Never Lies returns to another theatre, hopefully with a stronger structure.

Click for Tix: @Cockpit

Time: 90 minutes
Running:  14 NOV 16 ► 18 NOV 16

♥ Thank you to Chris Hislop for the invite
♥ Thanks to Greg for A Mirror Of Lies


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