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The Distance You Have Come at the Apollo Theatre | Review

It’s a show about changing and becoming a new person, yet oddly I don’t feel like the script or acting develops throughout the show. The Distance You Have Come is all show and no substance, lacking an emotional engagement or depth.

The show revolves around a few different couples or ex-couples; one gets married, one splits up and one has a child. And that’s pretty much the whole show, it is a very traditional musical in many ways, in particular, that the plot is not driven by the songs, and rather the songs capture an emotional moment. If this is what you like, then this resolutely conventional and cliché musical is for you.

One of the fundamental merits of theatre in any capacity is the pure joy of watching the physical feats of singing, acting and dancing, and while there is little of the latter two, it is fundamentally well performed. The actors all sing well, and for the most part, the music itself is good. A few missed harmonies and generally dull songwriting let it down at moments, but for the most part, it was performed well.

There are some big show numbers towards the end of the show, which function as a pay-off for the earlier plot. However, what is lacking from this show is the groundwork to make the audience care about the characters. Unfortunately, this undermines the weight of the show, meaning that many of the callbacks fall flat.

The structure of the show is, again, classically a show cycle. There is very little dialogue, the acting has not been given the time it required, and the plot is minimal.

The characters in the show are mostly queer, and perhaps this is something only queer people relate to, but throughout the show, I felt like it had been written by a straight writer for a straight audience. The clunky cliches and tired tropes of queer characters are littered throughout the show. There is also a scene in which a likeable character attempts to flirt an openly gay woman into a romance with him, I do not think I need to say much more. And there is a completely unexplained sexy Santa song, and I cannot understand how that was dramaturgically justified.

Perhaps I am too cynical, it got a standing ovation. The really cynical part of me thinks that people are just overjoyed to be back in the theatre. It is sung well, the musicians do a great job of performing this very traditional glorified showcase. Musicals aren’t really my thing, but beyond that, this not a good show and I wanted to like this.

Cast Andy Coxon (West Side Story, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical)
Alice Fearn (Come From Away, Wicked)
Adrian Hansel (Starlight Express, Hairspray)
Emma Hatton (Evita, Wicked, We Will Rock You
Dean John-Wilson (Kind and I, Aladdin)
Maiya Quansah- Breed (SIX, Rent)
Music and Lyrics Scott Alan
Director Kirk Jameson
Arrangements, Orchestration and Musical Direction Scott Hayes
Lighting Design Andrew Ellis
Original Production
Design
Simon Daw
Band MD/ Keys – Scott Hayes
Violin – Tom Crofton-Green
Cello- Tim Burton
Company Stage Manager Jason Benterman
Production Assistant Georgina Coram
Sound Design and
Operation

Chris Elcocks and Jonathan Miller for MC Production Group

Sound Consultant Ian Warboys
Graphic Design Rebecca Pitt
Producers Sarah Evans for Sevans Productions and Krystal Lee

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