When in London there are an abundance of theatres you could be at, from top West End musicals to gripping innovative plays at the National Theatre, but if you hop off the tube at Bank and head to London Theatre Workshop above the New Moon pub you will find a very special show.
Ordinary Days is a one-act musical set in New York that follows the life of four people; Claire, Jason, Warren and Deb who tell the story of their lives through a sublimely powerful score. Written by Adam Gwon, the balance of touching, funny and moving moments is reflected by the actors’ absorbing characterisation.
Claire (Kirby Hughes) is moving onto a new stage in her life with her boyfriend Jason (Alistair Frederick). Meanwhile, student Deb (Nora Perone) is struggling with her thesis after losing her book of notes, which is found by deep-thinker Warren (Neil Cameron). Each story is laced with sincerity that emphasises the fact that we, as humans, should see the beauty in everyday things.
Neil Cameron’s depiction of Warren does this, he creates the narrative as an optimistic young guy who is wondering the streets handing out pieces of paper with quotes to inspire the people of New York to embrace every single day. Neil Cameron performs the goofy and awkward nature of the character superbly, making the character instantly likeable. His performance of Life Story is warm, charismatic and sweet.
Warren’s unlikely friendship with Deb is a heart-warming element of the story. Deb is stressy, frantic and unfocused in life, which creates an abundance of humour in the show. Nora’s depiction of the straight-talking character is effortless and highly comedic. Her character progresses and learns a lot from Warren, and these tender moments really lift the warmth of the show – particularly the number Roof Duet / Falling.
The relationship between Jason and Claire is engaging and relatable. Kirby Hughes is sensational, her characterisation is so natural allowing the audience to really connect with her and her story. Providing a completely compelling performance, I could not take my eyes off her especially during her highly poignant performance of I’ll Be Here that tells the story of her inability to open up her heart again. Hughes’ emotion is extraordinary and it’s a performance I will never forget. Equally, her boyfriend Jason’s patience and kindness is shone through Alistair Frederick’s portrayal.
If you want to see a piece of theatre that will warm you to the core, make you laugh and make you cry, then you just have to catch Ordinary Days. It is simply staged, but squeezing into the small theatre in London and experiencing this musical something I could do over and over again. The score is consuming, and the four actors are entirely captivating – Ordinary Days is a perfect piece of fringe theatre.
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 – Five Stars
On at London Theatre Workshop until the 17th of June, information can be found here.
Photo Credit: Natalie Lomako