Review by Laura Sonier: Tell Me On a Sunday, Congress Theatre

Claire Sweeney
Claire Sweeney

HEARTBREAK is still heartbreak, whether you’re being dumped in Liverpool, LA or New York.

This is quickly discovered by Laura, the main – and only – character in Tell Me On a Sunday.

The actress playing the lovelorn protagonist needs to be able to connect emotionally with the audience and needs an exceptional voice.

Sweeney certainly managed the first part – she has a warm, likeable stage presence – however, she struggled to stamp her authority on the songs.

Although improving in the second half, her vocal control seemed lacking before the interval and her breathy singing style saw her swallowing some of the words. Any members of the audience unfamiliar with the plot may have found themselves puzzled at times. Exacerbating this problem was the order of the songs, which had been tinkered with to the show’s detriment.

Although this musical is generally quite fluid and has undergone several updates since it was first penned, the current running order sees the action leaping about with little explanation. But the tunes still hold up and Sweeney tried to inject a little more action into proceedings than in the show’s previous Congress appearances, leaving her – occasionally – struggling with the constant dressing and undressing demanded of her character by the director. But an appreciative Eastbourne audience gave her an enthusiastic reception and any fans of Claire Sweeney, or the musical, should enjoy the show.

There are performances on Friday and Saturday evening at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets cost from £16-£25, call 412000.