Howard Goodall’s Love Story
Based on Erich Segal’s 1970 novel which inspired the famous film, this beautifully played romance between Harvard preppy Oliver Barrett IV (who stands to inherit a fortune) and poor Italian-American scholarship student Jenny (whose widowed dad, warmly played by Peter Polycarpou, runs a restaurant) has its twee moments and occasionally trite lyrics.
But there’s real heart to this musical with its “money can’t buy happiness” message and tear-jerker ending.
Howard Goodall’s affecting score (performed by a discreet on-stage ensemble) is often poignant – the play opens with a funeral – but there’s lightness, too, in the deliciously catchy pasta song which marks the passing months.
And Emma Williams (feisty, sharp-tongued) and Michael Xavier (bowled over hockey jock and lawyer in the making) keep their love tunefully, touchingly alive. Take a tissue.
Duchess Theatre, Catherine Street, WC2B 5LA
Charing Cross tube
0844 412 4659
Until 30th April
£25 – £55
– Louise Kingsley