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Review: Me and My Girl, Irving Stage Company, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, until Saturday



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This tale of a Cockney heir to an earldom, the class system and a touching love story is brought to joyous life at the Theatre Royal this week.

Irving Stage Company’s slick opening night performance of Me and My Girl was full of fun, enthusiasm, comedy, exuberance and passion.

You could feel the excitement of the cast – which included ages across the spectrum – crackling off the stage as the show got under way, with no sign of nerves as belting song after song were performed.

The Irving Stage Company present Me and My Girl at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. PICTURE: Andy Abbott (56323625)
The Irving Stage Company present Me and My Girl at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. PICTURE: Andy Abbott (56323625)

Thinking of No-one But Me, performed by Jacquie and Gerald, included some wonderfully performed slapstick moments.

The production was in its stride by the time Parchester broke into a very entertaining and well-choreographed The Family Solicitor – we laughed out loud several times.

The Hareford Hall staff had their starring moment during An English Gentleman – including an amusing tale of a pea flying in a member of nobility’s eye – before one of the show’s (many) highlights: You Would if you Could, sung by Jacquie and Bill.

The Irving Stage Company present Me and My Girl at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. PICTURE: Andy Abbott (56323632)
The Irving Stage Company present Me and My Girl at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. PICTURE: Andy Abbott (56323632)

Superbly choreographed and performed, this song was amusing, a little risqué but never cringe-making.

Act One ended on a resounding high with The Lambeth Walk, when you could see the joy plastered across the face of every cast member.

The Sun has Got His Hat On opened act two, with great vocals and dancing from the ensemble and leads.

Song of Hareford, with the Duchess and Ancestors, had all the ingredients – wit, great vocals, fabulous choreography and confident performances from all the dead Hareford Lords.

The Irving Stage Company present Me and My Girl at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. PICTURE: Andy Abbott (56323638)
The Irving Stage Company present Me and My Girl at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. PICTURE: Andy Abbott (56323638)

Leaning on a Lamppost was utterly charming (even if the lamppost did lean a little too much after Sally’s enthusiastic twirl around it) followed by a triumphant Hunt Ball scene and finale.

My companion whispered half way through act one: “I didn’t realise it would be so funny.”

And it was. Joke after joke hit the mark, eliciting giggles and guffaws from the audience.

The Irving Stage Company present Me and My Girl at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. PICTURE: Andy Abbott (56323648)
The Irving Stage Company present Me and My Girl at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. PICTURE: Andy Abbott (56323648)

Slapstick was performed to perfection and the talented cast gave strong performances across the board.

Marc Kerr was charismatic and utterly convincing in the role of Bill, Katie Woodhouse oozed snobbery as Lady Jacqueline Carstone, Simon Spence was brilliant as the entertaining and alcohol-loving Sir John Tremayne, while Ben Young clearly relished playing Herbert Parchester.

Mention must also go to Jo Jones (Sally), Steve Murray (Gerald) and Sian Couture (the duchess).

The Irving Stage Company present Me and My Girl at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. PICTURE: Andy Abbott (56323640)
The Irving Stage Company present Me and My Girl at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. PICTURE: Andy Abbott (56323640)

The costumes were fabulous, direction tight and the band and sound spot on.

Get your tickets while you can.

The show is on until Saturday, with nightly performances at 7.30pm and a Saturday 2.30pm matinée. Book at www.theatreroyal.org

The Irving Stage Company present Me and My Girl at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. PICTURE: Andy Abbott (56323630)
The Irving Stage Company present Me and My Girl at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. PICTURE: Andy Abbott (56323630)