This review was originally written for The Public Reviews.
The opening production of the first season programme for the newly established London Theatre Workshop in Fulham brings the chamber musical Ordinary Days by Adam Gwon. As the title suggests, it is set on a day when four people’s lives change due to some chance occurrence. The set scattered with New York street signs makes for no doubt where it is set.
In fact, there are two separate stories of Warren and Deb who met because Warren found her notebook for her graduation dissertation and Claire and Jason who have just moved in with each other. They are all having second thoughts about one another apart from Warren who is an angel of upbeat optimism where everything is beautiful. It is a story that looks at simpler things often overlooked which get lost in a big city.
It is not the most groundbreaking of plot lines but it is an effective and occasionally charming piece of musical theatre. The opening four solos from each character mark their backstory though this feels too deliberate. The music has elements of American teen TV theme tunes about it which is pleasant without being particularly memorable. The lyrics reflect upon the trivial concerns and habits of modern New York twenty somethings, worrying about how to sing off emails and wardrobe spaces.
The characters are a little sketchy but there is a gem of a line which shows some insight into a character every now and again. The most successful of which is Deb, played by Olga-Marie Pratt who pointedly fleshes out Deb’s petulance and bluntness with a great voice to match. Oliver Watton can really belt out those ballads and matches up well with Marcia Brown as Claire. And Anton Tweedale is able to capture the quirkiness of the funny Warren.
It is an ordinary kind of production but done with a youthful energy that sets an optimistic outlook for this new theatre. And much to look forward to for the upcoming work of the rest of the season.