We completed our marathon weekend of musical madness at the Royal Academy of Music with ‘Nobody’s Perfect’, described as ‘some songs on the subject of human failings’, almost certain to be a fertile source of entertainment, and a fitting companion piece to both Tommy and Follies, which were both in their way fascinating examinations of human frailty.
Here we have not just seven sins, but twenty-five, each illustrated with a song. Devised by George Hall, one of RAM’s teaching staff, and no stranger to revue and cabaret himself, we were impressed with the range of material, skilfully chosen to show off the various talents of this year’s graduating students. No obvious choices here, which was very refreshing.
This was a chance for students to sing without a mike in an intimate space, with just a piano for an accompaniment, and to have some real fun with a selection of comic pieces as light as air.
Highlights for us included ‘I’ll never be jealous again’ with Amelia Adams-Pearce’s cut-glass therapist taunting jealous husband Adam Searles; ‘Boy oh boy’ with Bex Roberts and company; Reeta Vestman’s ‘Vodka’; Gary Albert Hughes with his hilarious song and dance number about there being no cocaine in ‘Cancun’; ‘If you want to break your mother’s heart’ with Miri Gellert, and Andrew Dyer’s drunken ramblings in ‘Maud’. The penultimate number is hilariously performed by Michelle Whitney as a cleaner who wants to be a ‘moo-vie star’.
There is another chance to see the show at the Jermyn Street Theatre (fast becoming a favourite venue of ours after seeing ‘The Kissing Dance’ there, which starred another RAM alumnus, Ian Virgo) and we would recommend a visit.
So, what conclusions can we draw from our brief sojourn with the RAM?
- You can’t make any assumptions about the quality of a production just because it is not ‘professional’.
- There’s more to Tommy than giant Doc Martens and baked beans
- There’s no cocaine in Cancun
- Stephen Sondheim can find misery in the most unlikely places
- We were right to be enraged at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ridiculous assertion that he wouldn’t be able to cast his Maria in ‘The Sound of Music’ from drama school graduates.