Personals - Review

Do the creators of legendary sitcom Friends have any talent for writing a musical? See Personals at the Bridewell Theatre, in Bride Lane, EC4 and find out.

And the songs are good, as are the performances and some of the jokes but the format seems more suited to TV than theatre.

Many of the scenarios are too brief and slow scene changes create a disjointed effect, which masks the comedy. In TV you’d simply cut to and fro in a second.

So, essentially it’s a revue with minimal storyline, especially in the first half. A little more storyline creeps in during the second act.

Jamie Noar’s revelation of his cosy domesticated threesome with his wife and a dwarf he accidentally picked up through the personal ads is, as you would expect, ridiculously funny but also strangely moving.

Amie Clapson as “the girl next door” who meets the “boy next door” through the personals also stands out, bringing a sense of truth to everything she does.

The show was written in 1985, before internet dating, and although ample use is made of laptops to bring it up to date there are still incongruities.

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The real strength of the piece is in the songs which are by turn fun, moving and dramatic, and a cast who have invested all their energy to offer some very good performances.