Details

Personals archiveFrom personal relationships and the single life to finding the right partner and, yes, meeting people through personal ads. Through numerous skits, songs, scenes and routines (including some through-line characters), the audience identifies with the laughter, pathos and instability of being out there without a life-mate. The show covers numerous lifestyles from young, experimental and/or quirky to experienced, bitter and/or needy people on the lookout for someone to share the life. <a href="http://www.PersonalsOnStage.com">Web site</a>

Cast/Performers

Martin Callagan, Marcus Allen Cooper, Carmen Cusack, Christina Fry, Cameron Blakely, Vicki Simon

Creatives/Company

Music(s): Stephen Schwartz, Alan Menken
Director(s): Dion McHugh, Matthew Freeman (music)
Design: Susie Caulcutt
Lighting: Nick Richings
Choreographer: Sam Spencer-Lane
Sound: Scott Myers
CORONAVIRUS: All UK venues closed on 16th March 2020, restrictions were lifted on 19th July 2021. Please note that iUKTDb archive listings between March 2020 and July 2021 may not be accurate as we did not receive details of all rescheduled and cancelled shows.

Personals

Personals (Musical) production archive for QTIX code T1101905191. Details of all Personals archived productions can be found under the QTIX code: S6199

Archive Listings

13 Jun 00
to
29 Jul 00
Apollo Theatre
West End
Greater London

UKTW News/Reviews

News:
11Jan01:
News:
11Jan01:

User Reviews

The Daily Telegraph (11Jan01): Charles Spencer reviews Personals at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue A Little Happiness WELL here's a funny thing. After a spring and summer in which a host of overblown, no-hope musicals have crawled on to various West End stages to die a lingering death comes a modest show blessed with genuine charm and wit. It would be nice to report that it was new nicer still to boast that it was British. In fact Personals is 15 years old and as distinctively New York as the Empire State Building. The reason for its current revival is that two of its authors, David Crane and Marta Kauffman, went on to huge success with the situation comedy Friends, and this prentice work covers similar territory, focusing on young - or youngish - characters seeking love and romance in the big city. The show is more revue than musical, with a nifty on-stage band and a mixture of sketches and songs. There's an accomplished, highly likeable cast of six and the cocktail-lounge music is by a variety of hands, including such familiar Broadway names as Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz as well as Michael Skloff (who subsequently wrote the Friends signature tune, I'll Be There for You) and Seth Friedman, who also had a hand in the book and lyrics. This is the kind of modest show you could easily spoil for others by smothering it with excessive praise. It is in fact archetypal off-Broadway fare - slick, good-natured, often funny and sometimes sentimental, but with no claim at all to either profundity or lasting significance. In short, it's fun, but no more than fun, for which relief much thanks. Despite the revue format, each performer plays one main character (as well as supporting roles), and we follow them from their first ads in the "personals" (what we used to call lonely hearts columns) to their subsequent attempts to make a lasting success of fledgling relationships. There are some nicely developed running gags. There's the typesetter, for instance, played by Martin Callaghan - a delightful unapologetic fattie of an actor - who places salacious spoof ads in the personal columns to annoy his wife, only to find that both he and she are becoming deeply involved with the "bisexual transvestite dwarf" who actually responds. It sounds tacky, but it proves surprisingly touching and funny, and the bizarre three-way love is celebrated in a smashing song with the neat title A Little Happiness. The dwarf's name is Mr Bleaney, incidentally, opening up a disconcerting new perspective on the Philip Larkin poem with the same title. Other highlights include Cameron Blakely as a diffident chap attempting, with a hilarious interactive self-help tape, to steel himself for a date and Vicki Simon and Marcus Allen Cooper as nervous, lonely neighbours who find themselves on a blind date together. The show's main weakness is its failure to dig into the emotional mire, so that at times everything feels a touch too glib and slick. Carmen Cusack proves the exception, with her spine-tingling delivery of a desperate love-gone-wrong song about the ex-husband she yearns to remarry. For a few minutes the show achieves a moving depth of aching regret. Dion McHugh directs this enjoyable and sparky evening with crisp precision and there is a neat, attractive design by Susie Caulcutt. In these dog days for the musical, it is a real pleasure to welcome a show of such infectious warmth and unpretentious good humour.
USER (11Jan01): I had seen Friends and liked the show, so I took my boy friend to see PERSONALS. It was excellent. Great story and songs. Great acting. Marcus Allen Cooper does a superb job in all his roles. Great voice. Kinda cute too.

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