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Sleeping Arrangements

© Claire Bilyard

Amanda and Hugh desperately need a holiday – she’s exhausted from looking after their baby twins, and he can hardly remember the woman he married. A week at their friend Gerard’s Spanish villa seems ideal, until they discover that another family – Chloe, Philip and their teenage son Sam – are also staying there. Are there enough beds to go round – and will anyone find out that Chloe and Hugh aren’t the strangers they make out to be?

Such is the gossamer-light premise of this new musical by Chris Burgess, based on the novel by Sophie Kinsella, best known for her ‘Shopaholic’ series. With its champagne-frothy plotlines and Technicolor characters, ‘chick lit’ – for want of a better term – is perfectly suited to musical adaptation. Burgess’s piece makes the transition to the stage so niftily, you only wonder why it hasn’t been attempted before (perhaps others have been deterred by the tribulations surrounding the much-mooted West End adaptation of 'Bridget Jones's Diary').

There are a few lulls in the score, and a couple of the non-musical scenes feel a little stilted. But it’s still a highly entertaining evening. The cast, mostly seasoned West End performers, have charm in spades, and there are several stand-out songs – including a brilliantly lusty showstopper for Amanda (Liza Pulman), as she decides to throw off the drudgery of full-time motherhood; and a hilarious number about adolescent sexual tension for Sam, performed by a very game Adam Pettigrew. Laura Barnett