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Greater London
posted/updated: 05 Sep 2017 - edit review / upload photos
The Simon & Garfunkel Story
Produced by Maple Tree Entertainment Ltd.
society/company: West End & Fringe (directory)
performance date: 04 Sep 2017
venue: Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London.
reviewer/s: Paul Johnson (Sardines review)

(l-r) Charles Blyth & Sam O_Hanlon in The Simon & Garfunkel Story. Photo: Jacqui Wilson

Kicking off a special four-date run at Shaftesbury Avenue’s Lyric Theatre (4 Sep, 2 Oct, 6 Nov & 4 Dec) – and playing the West End for the first time ever – comes the international smash hit, The Simon & Garfunkel Story.

Presented in a concert format, interjected with photos, news & film snippets, plus a helping of cheesy – but harmless – anecdotes, a packed and very appreciative auditorium took full advantage of Thriller Live having its Monday nights off by immersing itself in folk-rock’s biggest selling duo, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

Led by Sam O’Hanlon (Simon) and Charles Blyth (Garfunkel), the superb six-piece backing band – including a brass ensemble – raised the roof of the theatre (a sentence I certainly didn’t predict writing, despite my fondness of the 60s/70s partnership’s music output).

Taking the audience on a chronological rollercoaster from when the pair hit it off as school boys right through to splitting up in 1970 and briefly re-forming in 1981 to play to half a million people in Central Park, we’re treated to a host of hits and album tracks including, of course, the big hits.

The musicality and skill of the whole outfit is second to none with O’Hanlon and Blyth’s brilliant performances offering uncanny renditions of the duet’s unique and instantly recognisable sound. Highlights are, unsurprisingly, Blyth’s sublimely performed Bridge Over Troubled Water, Cecilia, and the classic Keep the Customer Satisfied... but these are just three songs from a whole evening of musical treats.

I must just also mention the sheer joy of watching the extremely talented bass guitarist Leon Camfield seemingly having the time of his life. The show bills just two stars, who are exceptionally talented, but there really are eight heroes on stage for this show.

Highly recommended, as long as you can still get a ticket. There are only three London dates left at the moment. Let’s hope more are added soon.

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(l-r) Charles Blyth & Sam O_Hanlon in The Simon & Garfunkel Story. Photo: Jacqui Wilson

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