Monday, December 02, 2019

‘The Season’ by Jim Barne and Kit Buchan

2 December 2019

On Saturday we were at the Royal Theatre in Northampton to see ‘The Season’ – a new chamber musical by Jim Barne and Kit Buchan. This lovely two-hander features Tori Allen-Martin and Alex Cardall as an odd couple, meeting in New York on Christmas Eve, discussing all the terrible clichés of New York Christmas romcom movies and then proceeding to act out those same clichés. It’s a very knowing take on the schmaltzy Christmas romance which manages to rise above the cynicism to be genuinely charming. The story of the musical’s development is also heart-warming, with Barnes and Buchan getting their break to stage their first musical after winning the 2018 Stiles & Drewe mentorship award which gave them a year’s mentorship from the successful musicals writing partnership George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (whose works include 'Betty Blue Eyes', reviewed here in July 2011). ‘The Season’ – a Royal & Derngate, Northampton and New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich co-production, directed by Tim Jackson – is witty, sweet, moving and great fun. It has been playing to packed houses in Northampton and Saturday’s audience gave the show an enthusiastic standing ovation.

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