Having watched the preview, I am excited to see and listen to the full-length production of the musical. Both Maggie Moriarty as Cathy and Peter Todd as Jamie provide gripping performances. This is my first time watching The Last Five Years, and I was immediately struck by the discord of watching Cathy’s opening song, in pain over the end of her marriage, immediately followed by a young Jamie’s excitement at his new relationship. This continued in the poignant interlacing of timelines throughout the scenes of the preview, which pit together, for example, Jamie’s book deal success and Cathy’s later difficulties in her career.
As stated in the promotional material this musical charts “the individual and shared lives of Cathy and Jamie, as they grow together and grow apart.” The preview highlights that this is not a ‘typical’ story of lost love, rather we see how the characters’ individual aspirations, failures and successes entwine into their shared history, backed by a moving soundtrack.
The show is made even more impressive in that it has been created, as in rehearsed, filmed,the music recorded, entirely in quarantine. Q&As on the production company’s website point to the technical difficulties they have had to overcome in order to create this perfectly timed and synced piece of theatre entirely from their bedrooms. The production company have stressed that this is a digitised theatrical performance and not a film. At first I was sceptical as to how they would be able to pull off scenes were the characters would have been together on stage. Yet somehow, take for example Cathy’s second song where she tells Jamie that she can’t understand how he can stand there “And see I’m crying/And not do anything at all” , you feel that Jamie is there but just out of shot. Judging from the preview I felt the same could be said for the actors’ performance. The audience might be remote and online but, in the energy they have given the show, I felt that they knew that we would be there, watching.
One-off viewing on Saturday 9th May, 7:30pm
Tickets are £3 and can be bought from www.00productions.co.uk/tickets