REVIEW: All Or Nothing, Kings Theatre, Southsea, July 7 and 9.

Carol Harrison

Carol Harrison

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Great story-telling and some of the best music ever written combine to perfection in Carol Harrison’s excellent stage musical depicting the rise and fall of The Small Faces.

The point is that it is a story worth telling – ultimately a tragic story, that of one of music’s most underrated and yet most influential bands, a band driven by one of its most charismatic figures, the late, great, Steve Marriott, the cheeky chappie who was left powerless as he and his band mates were ripped off by successive managements.

Eventually they produced a music they couldn’t reproduce on stage; and tired of being packaged as something they weren’t, Marriott simply walked.

Harrison’s musical tells it all, from the optimism of their early days through to the disillusion of their demise. And it does so brilliantly, narrative flowing into song and back again fluently as a series of short scenes conveys not just a sense of the times but also exactly what it was that made the band so important.

Her masterstroke is to have an older, not necessarily-wiser Marriott looking back on his youthful hopes and frustrations from the sidelines; but ultimately the musical works because it tells the story so well. The music, performed superbly before our eyes, does the rest on a night which will surely help give the band the more general acclaim they’ve missed out on. The aficionados have known all long: The Small Faces were brilliant.

The cast is: Carol Harrison, Dami Olukoya, Danielle Johnson, Eden Dominique, Joshua Maddison, Mark Newnham, Russell Floyd, Sophia Behn, Chris Simmons, Daniel Beales, Drew-Levi Huntsman, Joseph Peters, Joshua Dowen, Martin Teall, Shannon Perberdy and Tamsin January.

Phil Hewitt

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