She Loves Me: a CFT Minerva cracker
A slowish beginning and only one sure-fire hit song in the whole show. But The Times and Telegraph are right to rave and I add only a couple of things about this intense piece of magic….
For a while I thought we were in New York (the accents) and then some odd version of England (this perfume shop states its prices in old English money). But it was Budapest all right, and more generally Middle Europe. But much more important, we were in a special, magic place of the kind that hit me hard when I read the marvellous I Served the King of England.
The production was just what one hopes for in the Minerva: it packs in a huge amount without showing off.
The performances were all very strong. The essential, supporting figure of the very Jewish boss of the shop (warm-hearted, jealous) was beautifully done by Jack Chissick.
But I think the broadsheet reviews I’ve seen don’t quite capture how wonderful the central lovers are. Joe McFadden and Dianne Pilkington don’t have much obvious glamour going for them, which is ideal for this piece which uses all their intelligence and stylishness instead.