The Last Five Years in Concert: The Other Palace Studio, London
Reviewed 14th September 2018
Jason Robert-Brown’s award winning hit The Last Five Years was revived and performed in an intimate performance at The Other Palace’s Studio. The Last Five Years tells the story of Cathy, a struggling actress, and Jamie, a budding novelist, through five years of their life. The musical is told by Cathy moving backwards in time from the end of their relationship whilst Jamie tells the story from the beginning of their relationship. The two characters only meet once, in the middle, at their wedding.
With an emotional and, often, humorous score The Last Five Years has been a hit since its Off-Broadway premiere in 2002 and has also been made into a blockbuster film starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. The honest two-person production has the power to completely draw the audience in as we watch the characters relationship blossom and crumble told from both perspectives in this unusual way of telling their story.
Whilst newcomers to this musical may initially be slightly confused by the time shifts between characters, it is this very aspect that makes this musical stand out. It is very innovative and the songs themselves are so cleverly intertwined and expressive that despite the limited dialogue and the complexities of the plot the audience is quickly drawn in. Throughout the show the audiences attention and interest swings from character to character as the show builds a picture of Cathy and Jamie’s relationship and their emotions through the fantastic storytelling within the songs.