The nine boys are, in an unqualified way, magnificent: the line-up here is better than the Vineyard line-up. Each of the nine can sing, dance and act. They are simply tremendous: with special, remarkable turns from James T Lane (seriously, just get the awards engraved now), Kyle Scatliffe, Clinton Roane and Carl Spencer. When they all sing together, it is unarguably thrilling.
The stage door of the Harold Pinter Theatre tells a hundred stories. A stage door keeper, literally the keeper of the stories, presides over a comfy nook covered in headshots, some yellowing, corners curling. A hundred stories, a hundred once-upon-a-times. Jenna Russell’s dressing room tells its own story. She shares with Merrily We Roll Along co-star, Josefina Gabrielle. Gabrielle’s side of the dressing table is covered in make-up, brushes and powder and paints, neatly laid out in readiness for the evening show. On Russell’s side, there are three or four photographs of her baby daughter, Betsy, blu-tacked to the mirror. She tucks her legs beneath her on her chair and begins to tell stories. Born in London, brought up in Dundee and a performer from a young age, she has plenty of stories to tell. She is delicate-looking, radiant, with huge, open, blue eyes that brim with tears when she talks … Read more