Last week I was lucky enough to see the wonderful “Harold and Maude” at the Charing Cross Theatre. Following a pre-planned extension to the run, complete with casting changes (the marketing of which was a tad confusing, but that does mean there is good availability and deals to be found on tickets), I saw the newest version with Patrick Walshe McBride and Linda Marlowe in the titular roles.
I went in knowing nothing about the story (although whenever I mention the play, the response is invariably “isn’t there a film?” – yes, probably, whatever), which is how I prefer to see theatre. I’ve no love for spoilers, so won’t be giving any here, I’m all about broad brushstrokes.
The new leads are both fantastic. Linda Marlowe’s Maude is such a joy: full of life, heart, mischief and optimism. While Patrick Walshe McBride brings a sense of vulnerability to his hilariously troubled Harold. They’ve joined an established ensemble who work brilliantly together to bring to life the uplifting eccentricity of the play with the clever and engaging use of music. Rebecca Caine, as Harold’s worried mother Helen, deserves a special mention, she has such wonderful comic timing and the fun she is having is deliciously contagious.
Harold and Maude is running at the Charing Cross Theatre until Saturday 12th May 2018.
Reasons you should see it, in a nutshell:
- It is surprisingly life affirming, like a warm theatrical hug
- It is very funny
- It is refreshingly eccentric
- Music is used in a playful way throughout
- The cast are brilliant
- There are currently offers available for great seats
- And if none of that swayed you, the Charing Cross Theatre bar is surprisingly reasonable should you be of a “cheeky drink with the show” persuasion
If you do decide you want to see it, I’d get a wriggle on, you have less than 2 weeks before it is gone.