Pros: Starring two outstandingly talented performers who were born to shine on stage. Great songs, great laughs and lovely comedic timing.
Cons: Needs a bit more of the relationship’s substance to be performed rather than referenced.
The venue is one of the most charming I’ve been to in London; a quaint canal side pub with genuinely good food. The layout of the theatre, however, does leave something to be desired. Instead of rows, the audience are seated at tables, which has the unfortunate effect of positioning patrons at various angles to the stage. I see two shows in one night at this venue: in the first show I end up with a poor seat at my table, with my back to the action, and I’m sad to say my neck isn’t feeling great by the finish; the seat for the second show in a front facing seat is drastically better – and so I’ve got a very good view of the musical cabaret that is Let’s Revue…With Jacobs and James.
Jacobs and James are a lively and funny couple who perform a series of songs that bring to life the story of their relationship. They tell what they remember of their first meeting (in which Matt James shines) and lead into really clever ‘imagination’ scenes that do well to illustrate their fears of long-term commitment and the future. There’s lots of kitschy cabaret on display here, but there’s also genuinely impressive musical and vocal talent – and two tremendously funny comedians on show.
The duo are hysterically funny – no question about it. They play off of each other wonderfully, and one of their key strengths lies in their ability to insert humour into any situation. Their facial expressions and responses are laughable in the best way; there’s a song in which Matt James performs choral singing which had me in absolute stiches. In all honesty, I’m giggling right now just thinking about it. Jennie Jacobs is an absolute hoot and brings to life so much humour through her facial expressions – and her voice is outstanding.
There’s no question that Jacobs and James are very talented, but the show could be improved by injecting a little more substance into its storyline. What is there has potential, but it’s not fully fleshed out yet. Across the evening Jacobs and James recount their meeting and their relationship, at one point referencing a break-up and reconciliation, and then this happens, and that happens, and so on. In my opinion those milestones in their history should have been performed through song, rather than simply referenced in brief narrative. I’d have liked all those moments to have been fully illustrated as it would have created a more well-rounded production.
After all, where the show soars is the skill level of the two performers and their genuinely brilliant comedic timing and instincts. One of the reasons I want to see so much more of this show is because of how good they are. Both Jacobs and James were absolutely built to shine on a stage – I just want to see them shining on the stage for longer.
Author: Jennie Jacobs and Matt James
Booking Until: 11 August 2015