The Season Review

Brand new British musical, The Season, brings festive joy to Northampton's Royal Theatre.
Tori Allen-Martin and Alex Cardall. Photo by Pamela Raith
The musical is written by Jim Barne and Kit Buchan, recipients of 2018 Stiles and Drewe Mentorship Award, and it's not hard to see why this duo is already looking like it'll be successful. Their script is wickedly funny, I've not heard such roars of laughter at a show for some time. Their music is punchy, lyrically brilliant and drives the plot forward. The act one finale "American Express" leave you with a big smile on your face as you head out for the interval.

The two-hander follows the story of Dougal, who travells from Northampton to New York for his father's wedding. He's greeted at JFK airport by Robin. Tomorrow, on Christmas Day, her sister will marry Dougal's father. The pair are thrown together for a wild weekend and their adventure becomes a whirlwind of confession, frustration and excess.

Whilst the plot ticks most cliches of all the rom-com stories that have gone before, there is something magical about this piece. Tim Jackson's production fizzes and blossoms much like the romance of the two characters.

Amy Jane Cook has done a fine job designing the set. The use of the revolve is effective and the clever use of the main on-stage set allows to convey the various locations that the production takes place in. Simon Wilkinson's lighting design further enhances the clever design. A three-piece band under the musical direction of Grant Walsh add an accomplished sound.
Alex Cardall and Tori Allen-Martin. Photo by Pamela Raith.
The two cast members prove they are stars in the making. Alex Cardall brings boundless energy and charm to Dougal. He's got tremendous comic timing and lights up the stage in every scene. He is clearly loving playing this role and is perfectly cast. Tori Allen-Martin superbly conveys Robin and her emotions towards the season and to the secret, she hides to why she hasn't been invited to the wedding. Both Cardall and Allen-Martin sing beautifully. Two strong vocal range that adds to their appeal.

All in all this production will leave you feeling uplifted and like you've shared two hours with two new friends. The final sequences as the snow begins to fall are truly magical and wrap up the production brilliantly. It's a festive musical which deserves a longer life.

Rating: ★★★★★ - festive musical romance done perfectly. A warm winter hug that will melt even the coldest of hearts.

The Season plays at Northampton's Royal Theatre until Saturday 30th November 2019. Visit https://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/whats-on/the-season/ for more information.

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