London Theatre Review: Songs for Nobodies at the Ambassadors Theatre
| By Laura Franek
Nestled in the gorgeous Ambassadors Theatre on West Street, the delightful Songs for Nobodies by Joanna Murray-Smith is playing for a limited run until February 2019. Freshly transferred to the West End from a run at Wilton’s Music Hall, this one-woman show is directed by Simon Phillips with musical direction by Greg Arrowsmith and performed skilfully by Bernadette Robinson.
The play, a collection of melancholic brushes of unknown persons - our titular Nobodies - with five celebrity figures, sweeps through the stories and songs of iconic female singers from the twentieth century; Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday and Maria Callas. It is an episodic piece and unfolds in a series of monologues and melodies that knit together to give a whimsical look at how these seeming nobodies’ lives were touched by their personal encounters with these idols.
Bernadette Robinson shows great breadth and versatility, showcasing a range of accents and vocals that dazzle the audience and distract from the formulaic approach of each storyline. Where the script over-indulges in nostalgia, the music beautifully dovetails into the action and Robinson’s gift for storytelling through song provides a particularly touching delivery of well-known classics.
The direction is simple and delicate and works wonderfully with the intimate setting of the Ambassadors’ auditorium, so we feel we’re sharing a front room and cup of tea with the characters. The play runs for 90 minutes without an interval and is a lovely setting in which to steal away from the busy streets of London and pass some time with a heart-warming trip down memory lane.
Songs for Nobodies is only playing at the Ambassadors Theatre through 23 February.
Book your Songs for Nobodies tickets now to take a trip down memory lane and experience a brush with fame.