The Last Five Years at Southwark Playhouse review – ★★★★★
Thanks to inventive staging and two stand out stars, The Last Five Years at Southwark Playhouse is not to be missed.
With a book, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, The Last Five Years is all about the relationship between Jamie (Oli Higginson) and Cathy (Molly Lynch), two twenty-somethings living in New York.
The intimate, sung-through piece features no other characters with Jamie and Cathy each telling their story on opposite timelines; Jamie goes from beginning to end while Cathy starts at the end and works back to the start.
Higginson and Lynch play their complex and ultimately flawed characters flawlessly, taking us on their respective journeys through tearful lows and hilarious highs – Lynch’s take on A Summer in Ohio, proving a particular standout.
What makes it all the more impressive is this production’s unique actor-musician staging, directed by Jonathan O’Boyle. Never leaving the stage, Higginson and Lynch play the piano (and guitar and ukulele) while the other is singing, accompanied by a brilliant band led by musical director George Dyer.
It all makes for a brilliantly refreshing take on a hit cult musical that you don’t want to miss.
The Last Five Years plays at Southwark Playhouse through to March 28, 2020. Tickets available online here.