🍷🍷🍷🍷 🍺 (4 wines out of 5, PLUS a Pint of Guinness! )
Next Door’s Baby: Music and lyrics by Matthew Strachan, Book by Bernie Gaughan.
The Theatre At The Tabard is earning a well-deserved reputation for presenting productions with top quality acting talent and this musical is no exception.
Next Door’s Baby is the tale of two families living next door to each other in 1950’s Dublin. One family ‘has’ – the other ‘has not’. But they are a mix of generations and attitudes. And, as in all good productions, there are secrets too. Mrs O’Brien is widowed, hard-up, but ferociously proud of her five children – Dickie, Orla, Sheila, Larry and little Conor, the baby. She is icily polite to “her next door”, Mrs Hennessy, whose lifestyle is much easier. It’s a small world – no bigger than the street, canal walk and of course, the local church.
The entire cast are excellent. There are no weak links. They have strong, convincing singing voices and completely believable characters. Some of the narrative is random and the second half is a darker affair than the first, but there is humour too. When the matriarchs decide to enter their babies in a local newspaper Bonny Baby competition a bitter matriarchal feud ensues.
The story is rooted in character and is more a ‘kitchen sink’ musical – a play with music rather than a high-kicking affair. And there is some fine dancing, I could have coped with more!
It’s a powerful, moving and entertaining production and it’s (Sacred) Heart is in precisely the right place. Go see it. But leave your babies next door?
Theatre At The Tabard
2 Bath Road
Next Door’s Baby
Directed by: Keith Strachan
Musical Direction by: Beth Jerem
Set Design by: Hazel Owen
Costume Design by: Alice McNicholas
Choreography by: Hayley-Jo Murphy
Produced by: Simon and Sarah Reilly for Take Note Theatre at the Tabard