Young mother Paula is always getting left by the men in her life. The show opens with Paula and her 12-year-old daughter, Lucy, getting ready to leave for California with Paula’s latest beau, when they come home to a note saying he has left without them. To add insult to injury, he has also sublet his flat to a friend, leaving mother and child on the street. Luckily for them this friend is a kind-hearted actor who agrees to let the pair stay.
The cast is absolutely wonderful, delivering a fantastic performance from start to end. Rebecca Bainbridge, who plays Paula, is so funny, has a fantastic voice and she is an incredible dancer. Even when she purposefully sings and dances out of time she still manages to create an extraordinary performance. Paul Keating, as the actor Elliot, is highly entertaining to watch, especially in his unusual role as Richard III. Although the dynamic between the two seems rocky during the first act, they soon warm up to each other in time for Act Two. Young Lucy is played by Olivia Hallett and she is one of the strongest performers in the show – just incredibly talented.
The music is very catchy: the songs contain some of the best lines of comedy in the whole show (which is so funny as it is). The ‘improvised’ song Paula sings is so clever and very amusing. The small orchestra complements the vocals perfectly and is never too overpowering.
With such a small amount of space, the choreography in this show is especially impressive. They utilise every millimetre of space and transition well around each other for some fantastically entertaining dances.
This may be a tale as old as time of boy meets girl but the urban New York edginess gives it a brand new angle and a marvellously memorable performance. You will be laughing from start to end.
The Goodbye Girl is playing Upstairs at the Gatehouse until 28 February. For more information and tickets, see the Upstairs at the Gatehouse website.