I Loved Lucy, Arts Theatre London
Reviewed by Becky Mary on the 24th of July 2017, Evening performance
A highly humorous and love filled story for anyone to watch, delving into the life of Lucy and people who surrounded her. You will find a place for Lucy in your heart by the end of it.
I Loved Lucy is based on Lee Tannen’s life long friendship with the well-known Lucille Ball, often looking back meticulously on each event that happened between them and recalling it to us. Tannen takes us on a journey from the first time he met Lucille Ball, his childhood idol, making a friendship with her right until her last day with him. He soon becomes her closest friend often spending the days by her side or running around after her crazy ideas. In the end he has to say goodbye to Lucy in real life but still has the re-runs of her TV show to help him deal with the loss.
On first thoughts ‘I Loved Lucy’ appeared to appealed to an older audience which you thought would limit the people seeing it. You would have thought that this would have stopped me from fully enjoying the show but this was far from the case. The show was set out in such a way that I was able to follow the life of Lucy through Lee’s eyes which brought understanding and compassion towards her, also bringing understanding of who she actually was too. This meant that anyone could come and watch the show with little knowledge of Lucy and still have an enjoyable experience. I would say some things do go over your head because you do not fully understand what they mean but not enough to stop you from following the story as a whole. I loved how the show was full of amusing moments, often told by Lee who is not afraid to show the bad and good parts of his and Lucy’s relationship, mocking each other in between their meet ups.
Sandra Dickinson who plays Lucille Ball is one of kind. Sandra’s timing and flare was key. Throughout the show she builds on this which is highly commendable.
Matthew Scott in the role of Lee is sensational. As this is his West End debut it is great to see him in a role such as Lee who is kind, witty and very gay. He also takes on several other roles throughout the show, including the driver Ambrosia. I have to say Matthew is a very talented actor that I look forward to seeing in further productions.
The show has recently transferred from Jeremy Street Theatre to the Arts Theatre in London, which does make me question some of the set and music. At times music was played in the background or when scenes were changing, but this music was difficult to hear sometimes and you felt like it wasn’t meant to be there or was not playing through the speakers appropriately. I do say that this and some of the set looking a little bit random are the only points I would say need looking at.
A wonderful production with a talented cast and creative behind it that gives credit to Lucille Ball and Lee Tannen.
I Loved Lucy is playing at the Arts Theatre in London until the 2nd September 2017
Tickets can be purchased here – https://artstheatrewestend.co.uk/whats-on/i-loved-lucy/