Maybe because the weather still feels too warm for mid-December afternoons, or maybe because this year work seems to be never-ending, but the Christmas feeling that usually settles in long before November is over felt nonexistent. That is, until I saw Meet Me in St. Louis at the Landor Theatre.

Carrie received it as present in the first Sex and the City movie and I finally understand the reason.

Set in St. Louis before the 1904 World’s Fair, the musical tells the story of the Smith family, focusing on the two elder daughters and their quest to find love. Rose, the eldest, is waiting to be proposed to and Esther is in love with the boy next door, although they never met. However, when everything finally seems to fall into place, their father announces they are moving to New York, and tears rapidly follow. But this is a musical based on a 1944 film we would now call a rom-com, and the happy ending is a must: the family stays in St. Louis, the girls are engaged to their men and everyone can enjoy the World’s Fair.

…the musical remains a must-see…

Although the story itself is undoubtedly a little cheesy, the musical remains a must-see, mainly because of the joyful songs and strong performances. Finally making its premiere in the UK the show, directed by Robert McWhir, makes the most of the stage’s small space thanks to cleverly designed moving panels. The fantastic set helps transport the spectator into another world, but the actors do the rest.

The dancing, acting and singing are first class, with Georgia Permutt as Esther doing a stand out performance. Her expressions and powerful voice perfectly project the humour on which the musical is based, but she also effortlessly moves to a softer tone for the stunning Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

…contribute to making the show a brilliant comedy…

Characters such as maid Katie and Grandpa Prophater, portrayed by Carolyn Allen and Tom Murphy, also contribute to making the show a brilliant comedy, and the song A Touch of the Irish is sure to make you laugh.

Other musical numbers such as The Trolley Song and The Banjo, choreographed by Robbie O’Reilly, are brilliantly executed by the cast, and emanate a contagious energy.

…the Christmas atmosphere is what makes Meet Me in St. Louis a Christmas classic…

The feel-good songs together with the spot-on representation of the Christmas atmosphere is what makes Meet Me in St. Louis a Christmas classic and one I will probably want to see again next year. If you have a tip on how to get The Trolley Song out of my head however, please send it my way: as beautiful as it may be, sing it one more time and someone might kill me.

Arts_4 Stars4 Stars

Meet Me in St. Louis is at the Landor Theatre until January 18

Tickets: £20, Concessions: £18

 

 

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