This Little Life of Mine is a brand new musical from Stage Traffic Productions depicting the lives and struggles of a twenty-something couple living in London. It feels like it leapt out of the screen from a Richard Curtis film, with lashings of comedy and plenty of heart.
After securing their small, overpriced apartment, Izzy (Kate Batter) and Jonesy (James Robinson) feel the next step to make their lives complete would be to have a baby. When things don’t go to plan, the longing and disappointment really tests their relationship as Izzy becomes consumed by the overwhelming social pressures. It all feels a bit Yerma.
Our constant need to succeed is all driven by the feeds on Facebook and Instagram that sometimes leaves us with an underachieving gloom. However, pitched as being ‘a lot like life but with songs’ it sadly feels a little too ordinary, despite the injection of Charlie Round-Turner’s sweet melodic songs.
There are brilliant performances from Greg Barnet and Caroline Deverill, who bring to life the various characters in Izzy and Jonesy’s life. Barnet particularly, shines in the roles of the cheery Portuguese Barista and swinging partner of Deverill. ‘Let’s swing’ is a raunchy number and hilariously funny that provides a pocket of glee in a fairly sad tale.
There’s plenty going for the musical but Michael Yale’s story needs to delve a little deeper and bring out the crux of the drama on a more focused path. There are many strands brought to the piece that result in them feeling underdeveloped and in need of exploration. The cast do well with what they’re given and prove themselves to be strong vocal performers with a wealth of talent.
With some tightening This Little Life of Mine is well on its way to becoming a fully-fledged musical gem.
(Photo courtesy of Charlie Round-Turner)