The Arts Theatre, London
A musical about The Small Faces you say? Written by actress Carol Harrison (who plays Kay Marriott, Steve’s Mum, and who grew up in the same streets as the band) the musical tells the story of the band. The show has a clever device of using ‘older’ Steve Marriott as the narrator who is onstage for a lot of the show, even when the band play live, geeing them up and mouthing the lyrics. This works surprisingly well and the actor, Chris Simmons, is terrific.
The question you’re all asking is, does ‘Steve Marriott’ have ‘the voice’? Yes, he absolutely does. The four actors in the band all play live, and really well, but Samuel Pope (younger Steve) is outstanding. His mannerisms, that shimmy across the stage, the low slung Gretsch, it’s all there. But, as they might say, ‘fack me, can he sing.’
The script is sharp and funny, the music is glorious and the small cast are excellent. Russell Floyd, who plays Don Arden, is brilliant. You absolutely hate his guts as he systematically works the lads into the ground whilst ripping every penny off them that he can. Andrew Loog Oldham and PP Arnold are both convincingly portrayed and Peter Frampton and Rod Stewart even make brief appearances. Joyous!
A few Ben Sherman shirts but mostly people in their 60’s, up for a good time. Take your drinks to your seat too, so the matinee atmosphere was well oiled.
It made me think..
What could have been? Had Arden been more adventurous and taken them to the States, could they have been massive? But then would the Immediate years have happened?
I loved this musical. 150 minutes of laughter, tears and cracking songs. What’s not to like?