9-20 June 2015
Reviewed by Helen Warner
When I got the opportunity to see Barnum at the Mayflower in Southampton last night I jumped at the chance. Several friends had seen the show last year and said how good it was, but sadly I never got around to seeing it, so last night I was rather excited to be going at last.
The story is about Phineas T Barnum, America’s greatest showman, and the story follows his life and marriage and his many exciting adventures.
When we took our seats, which weren’t far from the front, there were already jugglers, hula hoopers and people walking on their hands amongst the audience. This made for an exciting start with lots of clapping and cheering. PT Barnum is played by Brian Conley who plays this role brilliantly, the role is of a mid-nineteenth century showman, who has great charisma and really interacts with the audience, with one lucky lady even getting a kiss on the hand. He also took the time to shake the hand of one man as well.
Barnum’s wife Chairy, who is played by Linzi Hateley, sang some lovely songs and had great comic timing. Then there was Mikey-Jay Heath who played Tom Thumb. I wondered how that would work with Tom Thumb being only 25″ tall but there was a massive chair and Barnum came on stage on stilts making Tom Thumb look tiny.
The big songs with the circus acts were dazzling and a real spectacle to watch, but because this is so exciting it can make the parts without the show tunes appear a bit boring.
The orchestra were above the stage and did a fantastic job, it was a shame they didn’t get a mention at the end.
I think this would appeal to the slightly younger audience as well, making it a nice family evening out.
The Mayflower is the biggest theatre on the south coast and they show a diverse range of shows from musicals, dance and opera to family shows and more. It is well worth a visit with plenty of parking a short walk away.
Tickets cost from £25 to £49.50 (booking fees may apply).
Barnum is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton until 20 June 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 02380 711811.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811