GROWN UP SHOW REVIEW: Aspects of Love, Southwark Playhouse

Mummy and Mrs Mummy have taken to taking it in turns to see the same show. This allows us to go out more regularly without begging friends and family to babysit, and also gives us something other than children to talk about! And if you’re going to see a show without the munchkins, it may as well be a show that is entirely unsuitable for children. Aspects of Love is certainly that.

Unusually, I didn’t really know very much about this show before I went in.
Mrs Mummy had been a few days before me, and had muttered something about Lloyd Webber liking to push the boundaries, but that was about it. Well, that and the one song from Aspects that everyone knows. (And if you somehow didn’t know it beforehand, you would definitely feel as if you did by the end, thanks to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s time honoured trick of beating you around the head with the same melody for two hours straight.)

The set-up was a variation on a fairly standard seating arrangement at the Southwark Playhouse. My usual preference for front row – plus some quite belated ticket purchasing – meant sitting cabaret style around tables at the front. This was the least comfortable I have been in that style seating, not aided by being squished between two strangers. At least I had a nice table to balance my drink – until the interval when I was informed that a cast member would be dancing on said table later so I should probably move my prosecco!

The show itself was typically Lloyd Webber, albeit stripped back with a very small band. The cast was solid, particularly the two leading ladies, Kelly Price and Madalena Alberto. Mummy and Mrs Mummy disagree about who was the greatest most leading of the ladies. Mummy doesn’t really care as this means she doesn’t need to fight Mrs Mummy for Madalena Alberto’s hand in marriage.

The subject matter was as hinted by the title, but taken to places that felt quite uncomfortable at times. I like my musicals dark and twisty, so I really enjoyed it. To be honest, what’s not to like about having a couple of drinks at the theatre on a Friday night while somebody else (sorry Mrs Mummy!) is putting the munchkins to bed?!

I’ve seen some negative feedback online, typically from people who are familiar with earlier productions. Maybe I would have felt different if I had seen Aspects in a previous life, but being blissfully unaware of what had gone before it, I thought this was another stunning, intimate production from what is fast becoming my favourite theatre.

RATING: Raindrops, whiskers, kettles and mittens (aka 4 out of 5 of my favourite things)