New Year’s resolutions are funny things. Usually they are made in the knowledge that it sounds like a great idea but will never succeed. I do not like failing and so have started to only makes ones which I am sure I will be able to keep. This year’s was to go to the theatre at least once a month. Two-thirds of the way through the year, so far, so good:
January: A Round Heeled Woman
March: Absent Friends
April: Jersey Boys
May: One Man Two Guvnors
June: Abigail’s Party
July: Sunshine Boys
The inclusion of musicals in my life isn’t something I would normally condone but if I can get a cheeky lastminute.com £10 ticket I'll go with an open mind and usually don't hate them. As a rule though, I’m still against spontaneous singing.
Speaking of lastminute.com deals, that is how I ended up going to see the Jumpy matinee on Saturday. I got restricted view tickets for a bargain £15. Buying restricted view is always a bit of a worry if you don’t know the theatre. I’d been to see One Man Two Guvnors in restricted view as it was the only way to see James Corden in the role in December. How much I actually saw of him was dependent on the movements the man in front of me made while laughing and the handrail next to my face.
So scared was I about buying restricted view that I had a dream a few nights before where I got to my seat and all that was in my line of vision was a wall, I was convinced it was going to be a nightmare. I really shouldn’t have feared as when I collected my £15 ticket I got an upgrade to the Royal Circle. That meant I saved £40 on an unrestricted view, happy, happy days.
As much as I love a bargain, spending any meagre amount is still a waste if the play is no good.
A loud burst of Florence and the Machine indicated the start of the show. Immediately I was a bit concerned. Blaring pop music to fill time as the actors re-arrange the set or to indicate a change in scene can sometimes feel a bit am-dram, thankfully Jumpy managed to shrug off that concern very quickly.
Tamsin Greig plays Hilary, a 50-year-old woman with a teenage daughter who is more concerned about going out than her GCSEs. Hilary’s relationships with her child, her husband and best friend all disintegrate. Her job is in jeopardy. She is dealing with a life where aspirations remain unfulfilled as her daughter, Tilly, sets off on a journey that she does not understand will feature disappointment and compromise.
Generally the acting was very well pitched although at times the daughter was just a bit too Kevin the Teenager for my liking.
Jumpy is on until 3rd November at the Duke of York’s Theatre, it's funny and touching and definitely worth a watch.