The Simon & Garfunkel Story at Lyric Theatre
For those expecting yet another tribute show with an artificial and contrived story stringing the individual songs of a popular band together: this is not your show. On the contrary, the “plot” is kept at a bare minimum, with the Paul Simon (Adam Dickinson/ Sam O’Hanlon) and Art Garfunkel (Kingsley Judd/ Charles Blyth) impersonators narrating a few events from the lives of both performers – and that’s it. Other than that, the production reflects more an actual live concert, rather than a piece of musical theatre – and in this case, that’s definitely not a bad thing.
The lighting design by Chris Crowther does create some spectacular visual effects that are tuned perfectly to the music, and a screen in the background provides a constant stream of video footage from the 1960s to offer a bit of context in the background – in the same way that the music of Simon & Garfunkel would have been in the background of the events that were occurring during those years.
The show’s focus lies definitely with the performers and their renditions of all of the duo’s most popular classics – and both of them are astounding. Not in that they are perfect look-alikes (they are certainly not) but in that they have studied the original music so rigorously that they immediately win over the hearts of the audience, who clap enthusiastically after each and every song. It’s a beautiful and genuinely heartfelt nostalgia-trip for fans and newcomers alike, who are treated with everything from Sound of Silence, Mrs Robinson and The Boxer to Leaves That Are Green and Bridge Over Troubled Water. They never quite match the original geniuses that were Simon & Garfunkel – who could? – but they come surprisingly close in being just as entertaining.
For those expecting a musical with a proper plot, acting and action, The Simon & Garfunkel Story will be a disappointment. But for those who are fans of the double act – or indeed for those who just want a good live concert involving timeless music from the 1960s – it will provide a night to remember, delivered by an ensemble with a tremendous amount of passion and talent.
Photo: Hamish Gill
The Simon & Garfunkel Story is at Lyric Theatre from 29th April until 24th June 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.