All or Nothing, Ambassadors Theatre | Review


All or Nothing
Ambassadors Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 28th March 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★

I must admit, this review has been hard for me to write. This show isn't bad and I had a good time but I definitely am not it's target audience and that had a big effect. My plus one for the night was my dad who grew up during the time Small Faces were on the charts so he remembered all the songs, knew all the characters and could relate to it. Whereas I, a 21 year old who has never been introduced to their music, felt a bit like an outsider looking in. 

The performances aren't bad, in fact they're pretty fantastic. Samuel Pope, especially, as Younger Steve Mariott is outstanding both in terms of vocals and acting as is Chris Simmons as older Steve. The cast give it their all and do their best to deliver stellar performances. The sets are pretty good, if fairly basic, and the lighting fits perfectly to create the concert vibe. The small space of the Ambassadors theatre also lends itself well to this and it feels as though we are a part of the action as well as just watching it.

As I said, nothing is wrong with this production... if you're the target audience. At first I thought to myself: well, that's fine, it's for the older generations and that's that. But as I think about it more I don't think that's correct. Of course the music and story is for an older audience because they know it already, but I believe the creatives should have worked to make it relatable for a younger audience as well. I could tell from audience reactions around me that the characters were spot on to their real-life counterparts and that the jokes about specific things and people fell right, but I just couldn't find a way in. 


Not being a writer I don't know how they could have drawn all ages in, perhaps by taking a note out of Beautiful's book and telling the story of the lives more that just assuming we're all aware. The fire at the end for example, felt like a complete gear change to me, as I didn't know that's how Steve died, it just seemed like a random, erratic scene. Of course I could have read up on their story first but that's not really something you should have to do when going to the theatre.

I really wanted to like this show and I'm glad that my dad and those around me did. If my dad was writing this review it would have been far more glowing and received one or two stars more but I can only say how it feels personally. I did still have fun regardless because of the wonderful performances, but I can't say I'll be rushing back or rushing to recommend it to people my age. However, if you're a fan of Small Faces then I definitely think you'll enjoy All or Nothing and will certainly feel the nostalgia and joy that their music evidently brings.

All or Nothing runs at the Ambassadors Theatre until May 12th.

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