Social Media

Two Strangers (Carry A Cake Across New York) - Criterion Theatre Review

Reviewed by Amelia Bascombe
Ticket was gifted in return for an honest review

What’ll it be? From humble beginnings to a west end debut, Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York) has had a name change and a fancy upscale after moving to the Criterion for a limited engagement. With just two actors taking centre stage in what can only be described as a heartwarming story, this show is simply a slice of perfection. 

Photo by Tristram Kenton

Written by Jim Barne and Kit Buchan, the musical duo has created an incredibly 
touching piece of theatre that’s bound to speak right to everyone’s hearts. I mean, whoever thought to rhyme ‘GCSE’s’ with ‘celiac disease’ is just pure genius. You know the kind of show that leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside? Yes, this is one of those. The story has its fair share of twists and revelations, but it’s the unlikely match of our two protagonists that really takes the cake.

Sam Tutty takes on the role with Dougal, embracing the character in all his quirks and wonderfulness. Dougal is at risk of being quite grating if he were to be in less capable hands than Tutty, so this casting really works. He is charming and charismatic and lends into the Evan Hansen awkwardness to capture our hearts all over againTutty particularly soars in the number ‘New York’ and cements his Olivier award winning presence early on in this production. 

Opposite him is Dujonna Gift, who is providing some stellar vocals and sass in the role of Robin. Gift lands all her songs and has an immaculate tone to her voice, especially in ‘This Year’. She is nuanced opposite Tutty’s accurately described ‘golden retriever’ energy, so they complement each other well. Their chemistry is palpable, and the stage never feels empty with just the two of them, which is a massive credit to their abilities. 

It's easy to become invested in this story as we watch a blossoming friendship turn into so much more. The simple set is especially innovative (by Soutra Gilmour), and I couldn’t think of a better way to stage the show. The suitcases are a sign of the ever-moving plot and how the pair are always on the go with their respective lives. The lighting is simple but effective from Jack Knowles and suits the production size perfectly.

Photo by Tristram Kenton

My only complaint is that I
 wish all the songs were on the soundtrack. I was really hoping to sing along to the act one finale (‘American Express’) or the parody Christmas song (‘Under the Mistletoe’) on my way home. But if that’s the only complaint to make, then I’d say it’s a pretty successful show. Tim Jackson has directed and choreographed a wonderful piece of theatre, that definitely deserves a life after this limited engagement. It’s a relatable take on how we want what we can’t have and the dreams that we have are ultimately someone else’s reality. A reflection of how our society may always feel like we want more. 


Catch Two Strangers (Who Carry A Cake Across New York) at the Criterion Theatre in London. The show is booking until 14th July with tickets available from

Post a Comment


Theme by STS