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Sam O’Hanlon & Charles Blyth – The Simon & Garfunkel Story

Charles Blyth as Art Garfunkel and Sam OHanlon as Paul Simon.
Charles Blyth as Art Garfunkel and Sam OHanlon as Paul Simon.

Direct from a sell-out worldwide tour and standing ovations at every performance, The Simon & Garfunkel Story arrives in London’s West End at the Vaudeville Theatre! Using huge projection photos and original film footage, this 50th Anniversary Celebration also features a full live band and brass ensemble performing all the hits including ‘Mrs Robinson’, ‘Cecilia’, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, ‘Homeward Bound‘ and many more.

Read our exclusive interview with Sam O’Hanlon (Paul Simon) and Charles Blyth (Art Garfunkel).

At what age did you each first listen to and then get ‘captured’ by the music of Simon and Garfunkel?
Sam O’Hanlon “I think it must have been when I was very, very young! My parents listened to them, and I remember feeling really fascinated by The Sound of Silence. Not only the haunting melody but also the subject matter. I couldn’t shake the strange imagery, and it stuck with me!

Charles Blyth “In the choir at school, I remember working on Bridge Over Troubled Water as an 8-part choral piece. It was a tricky, but lovely arrangement.

What is it about the music and lyrics that you enjoy most?
Sam “I love how Paul Simon seems to write without boundaries. He doesn’t limit himself to a certain style, and what he writes about is thoughtful and reflective. One song can be about love and loss, and the next can be about what it would be like to be a Cornflake! (metaphorical, of course).

Charles “I really enjoy the simplicity and elegance of the lyrics, which paint such beautiful images, they are so easy to get lost in.

What is the most challenging aspect of performing in the show?
Sam “I had to work really hard at my guitar technique. I still don’t have it perfected as much as Paul Simon, but his playing style is so unique it’s hard to get it exact. But I keep listening to him and learning more and more each day.

Charles “Probably singing Bridge Over Troubled Water. At the end of a two-hour show and to have that song coming up, you have to give the song the respect it deserves. And you know the crowd are waiting for it… so let them wait. That difficult thing.

What gives the music its longevity?
Sam “It’s story-telling at its purest. Paul Simon often insists that he’s a writer and a poet, not a singer, and I think there’s truth in that. Modern music tends to rely on trends; dance music, fashion and high levels of production. Paul Simon is just telling a story about emotions and events we can all relate to, and writes in a way that challenges us, and that won’t change as the years roll on. Heartache, love and mortality are just as much in our minds today as they were 40 years ago.

Charles “I think it’s the ability of ambiguity. For people to have different ways and reason of relating to the music. As well as the variety of genres they covered.

Which is your favourite song?
Sam “My answer changes every time I’m asked it! America will always be one of my favourites to sing, and I love performing Keep the Customer Satisfied. I also really love performing Hey Schoolgirl, which was Paul Simon’s first song! It’s a great 50s tune inspired by The Everly Brothers and Elvis etc! Those are probably the top three in the show at the moment, but I also have a bit of a soft spot for The Dangling Conversation, which is gorgeous, but unfortunately, we don’t do in the show, because there isn’t time!”

Charles “I’m really enjoying Leaves That Are Green from the album, Wednesday Morning 3am. It’s a lovely tale that tells of moments and life are short-lived.

‘The Simon & Garfunkel Story’ – which aspect of their lives fascinates you the most?
Sam “I would probably say their relationship. It was such a unique friendship, and I bet they probably had no idea how much they would be in each other’s lives when they met at age 10.”

Charles “Probably the sheer intensity of their partnership. Five years, five albums, and the constant touring. It is a wonder that they stuck at it for so long.

Why should everyone get along to see the show?
Sam “If you used to listen to Simon and Garfunkel when you were younger, it will be a night full of nostalgia- remembering that first dance, meeting your loved one, or relaxing at home in the holidays with the record player waring down those vinyls.If you’re of the younger generation like me, and you’ve only heard of Simon and Garfunkel through your parents, come along… You might be surprised how much you know/recognise! Plus, vintage stuff and 60s music and styles are on the comeback!

Charles “The music!! In a live format, it is a tonic for the soul, and the thrill of the journey the duo had was extraordinary, which leave you feeling elated and euphoric.

*******

West End Launch of The Simon & Garfunkel Show

THE SIMON & GARFUNKEL STORY
Monday 12 – Saturday
17 November, 2018
Vaudeville Theatre
404 Strand
London, WC2R 0NH

The Lyric Theatre
Monday 10th December 2018 – Monday 24th June 2019
29 Shaftesbury Avenue
London W1D 7ES
London

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  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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