27 May to 15 October 2016
Reviewed by Emma Rogers
Set at the turn of the 20th Century, the enchanting story of The Go-Between relays the memories of Leo, a sixty something year old man who finds his childhood journals. Encouraged by the ghostly figures of the past, he starts reading the diaries to rid himself of bad memories and the thought that he had placed a curse. Suddenly, the audience are transported back to Leo’s boyhood, where he has been sent to a grand house, Brandon Hall, when his father dies and his mother cannot occupy him for the summer when he turns 13. Whilst at the house, he seamlessly integrates with the family when introduced to Marcus, who is about the same age. His older brother and sister provide some of the laughs, but it is the character of Marian whom the rest of the story revolves around and her relationship with Leo.
The play is partly sung, partly spoken and although not miserable nor a tear-jerker, it’s not full of laughs either. It’s wonderfully staged with the minimum furniture but has some very clever lighting and a live pianist on stage, providing the atmospheric music throughout.
Michael Crawford plays the sixty year old Leo, and through his memories, is on stage a lot during the play, if not the whole time. He plays the urgency of the character very well, sometimes trying to change the course of history in a very poignant and touching way. The character of Marcus has the most robust nature of the family, with his interspersed French vernacular. However, the show was really stolen by the young Leo, who turns 13 during the play. He plays the youngster as a slightly naive but tenacious character who is proud to stand true to his word throughout the course of the play. His voice was stunning too, hitting every note perfectly.
Although not a complicated story, it is told in a way which is probably best not for children. Nostalgic, it tells a lovely story with a beautiful score to illustrate the forgotten Edwardian way of life. If you’re wondering what the title The Go-Between refers to, you’ll have to watch it to see!
Tickets cost from £19.50 (booking fees may apply).
The Go-Between is at the Apollo Theatre in London until 15 October 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0330 333 4809.
Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES | 0330 333 4809