THEATRE REVIEW: The Last Five Years starring Samantha Barks and Jonathan Bailey


WHERE: St James Theatre

WHEN: 31/10, runs to 26/11

The Last Five Years is a triumph of structure over content.

  • Read on for reasons including the performances of Jonathan Bailey and Samantha Barks

A two-man show, the central couple reflect on their five-year relationship with alternate songs, the man’s story told in time order, the woman’s in reverse.

They duet during midshow song The Next 10 Minutes as their storylines intersect, once.

There’s plenty of humour here and Jonathan Bailey (American Psycho, Othello at the National, Crashing and Broadchurch) brings a blokeish swagger and charm to his rising novelist Jamie Wellerstein.

Samantha Barks outsings but doesn’t out-act him as would-be actress Cathy Hiatt who’s finding her career and relationship more of a struggle than Wellerstein.

This American musical is also a 2015 film starring Anna Kendrick and we very much enjoyed it at this venue which is to concentrate on musicals next year under the new name The Other Palace.

But for all the fine singing and occasional humour on show, we weren’t as moved by Jamie and Cathy’s last five years as we’d hoped to be. The Last Five Years? It was actually 90 minutes without an interval – and fairly zipped by.

  • Picture courtesy St James Theatre. Tickets
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