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Review: Sleepless at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

PUBLISHED: 12:24 02 September 2020

Kimberley Walsh, Jack Reynolds and Jay McGuinness in Sleepless, A Romantic Musical. Picture: Alistair Muir

Kimberley Walsh, Jack Reynolds and Jay McGuinness in Sleepless, A Romantic Musical. Picture: Alistair Muir

©ALASTAIR MUIR Contact alastair@alastairmuir.com

A feel good romance has heralded the return of indoor theatre performances in Wembley Park following covid restrictions nationwide.

Jack Reynolds and Jay McGuinness in Sleepless, A Romantic Musical. Picture: Alastair MuirJack Reynolds and Jay McGuinness in Sleepless, A Romantic Musical. Picture: Alastair Muir

Sleepless, A Musical Romance, is a charming theatrical adaption of the 1993 blockbuster Sleepless in Seattle - and whether you’ve seen the film or not you leave with a spring in your step.

Michael Rose’s production is the first large scale production to open in Stage 4 of the government’s roadmap to re-opening.

It “makes no financial sense at all” says the programme but the Troubadour Theatre is big enough to get normality rolling again and it does that very well.

Life must go on and that is the premise of Sleepless.

Leanne Garrety, Charlie Bull, and Dominique Planter in Sleepless, A Romantic Musical. Picture: Alastair MuirLeanne Garrety, Charlie Bull, and Dominique Planter in Sleepless, A Romantic Musical. Picture: Alastair Muir

Sam (Jay McGuiness) is a grieving widower living on a boat house in Seattle with his 10-year-old son Jonah (Jobe Hart) who calls a late night radio show on Christmas Eve saying he wants to find a wife for his insomniac dad.

Over in Baltimore, journalist Annie (Kimberley Walsh) is struck by his emotional candour as are women all over America as Sam is dubbed Sleepless in Seattle.

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There are a few belters, a witty Dear Sleepless number from women wooing Sam, and an energetic ‘Now or Never’ jazzy tune which keeps the musical moving along, supported by a 12 piece orchestra.

There are hints of Strictly Come Dancing but only really a tease.

A moat surrounds the stage and a revolving set upon it whisks the audience between locations.

There’s a bar above the action placing the different locations with added sound effects for the airport or the rain in Seattle.

Projections also create a clever architectural backdrop, a nod to Sam’s profession, and places the audience at the Empire State Building for the finale.

There is something very poignant about watching this production during a pandemic, seated in social distanced bubbles in a pared down auditorium.

Sleepless is a light-hearted story of loss, longing and following your dreams.

At Troubadour Wembley Park until September 27. Tickets start at £15.

Go to www.troubadourtheatres.com


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