Very strong performances from this young cast presenting us with a picture of real life moments of Frank Sinatra and his wild marriage to Ava Gardner. Presented by Now You Know Theatre Company, this was a very good production and definitely one to catch.
Being a big Frank Sinatra fan, this was on the Ginger Wig’s list from early on and without reading too much into it, we didn’t know quite what to expect. What we got was unique and mesmerising. Told in the late hours of the night by barman ‘Joe’ and Frank himself, flashbacks drift in and out showing us a completely different side to Frank Sinatra that we knew little about: his fear of losing fame, his recklessness, things we wouldn’t guess at from listening to his songs.
Acting-wise it was very strong. Special nod to Anthony Orme for writing, directing and starring as Joe the barman. He has produced a great insight for those who don’t know so much about Frank’s personal life. However, the performances from the entire cast was very powerful; Matt Concannon as Frank, Holly Sumpton as Ava Gardner and Ryan Heenan in several supporting roles. Music was provided by pianist Colm Molloy and saxophonist Monika Valkunaite and played as if they were a jukebox, being switched on and off by the actors when they needed some musical respite from the troubles of Frank’s life.
Here and only here lies my only regret for this piece. As well as being strong actors, Holly Sumpton and Ryan Heenan also provided the most beautiful singing to accompany the piece. Hearing them sing I can only say it was a shame we didn’t have more more musical interludes to accompany the action of the play. At only 45 minutes long, it certainly could have been a little bit longer, as we left very much wanting more, not that this detraced from it.
This was a wonderful account of Frank Sinatra’s whirlwind marriage to Ava Gardner that has been beautifully retold by a group of very talented young performers. Asking for more is just a compliment to this production. Well done to Anthony and the whole team. Get along to this one !
Highlight of the show – Holly’s opening number – What was it ???
Want to see it? One for my Baby – theSpace on the mile (Venue 39) at 19:40 until the 29th.