A Bowl of Cherries

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A Bowl of Cherries
© Graham Michael
Bowl of Cherries

What links together a series of sketches about two gay parents, an unhappy holidaying duo and an old couple's search for Viagra? Precious little, if you ask me, but apparently these scenes all explore 'the circle of life'. Woven in between these tired scenarios are a smattering of songs by David Martin, of which only one – 'Can't Smile Without You' – makes a lasting impression.

Carolyn Pertwee's new musical is made still more clunky by a horribly wooden framing device, which sees two theatre ghosts observe the entire show. As one spectre Clare Buckfield is supposedly the star attraction, yet she spends much of the production watching from the wings.

The other main draw is Gary Wilmot (as the other ghost) but he cuts loose only once, during a cringeworthy Elvis impersonation. Elsewhere Julie Jupp rises above the mediocre material, her voice warm as a cuddle. Despite an abundance of flashing neon lights, there's little director Andrew C Wadsworth can do to energise this limp production.

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Bowl of Cherries is one of the best and funniest shows I have seen for some time. The cast are extraordinarily talented and versatile in bringing us all the slices of life from the cradle to the grave in a particularily contemporary way. On the night I was there the audience laughed out loud at Caroline Pertwee's well observed script and thoroughly enjoyed the songs by David Martin. I see that it has been nominated for "Off West End Best Ensemble Award 2012, and rightly so. Some of the reviews I have read must have been written by people watching a different show.


Well who is Miriam Gillingam? She quite obviously did not see the same show. Gary Wilmot was fantastic, but not a ghost, she must have had a drink in the interval Best show I've seen for a long time its laugh out loud funny, but also touching and heart warming.