Been So Long (3 stars)

Great tunes, pounding voices and beguiling dialogue

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This article is from 2009.

Been So Long

Ellie Kurttz

The Scottish premiere of Che Walker and Arthur Darvill’s straight play-turned musical brings a bittersweet reflection upon love and our fear of it, tempered by a sardonic streetwise wit, which, pleasingly, isn’t nearly as tough as it makes out.

The keeper of a no-longer fashionable London bar (noted soul singer Omar Lyefook) is smitten with a local single mother (Cat Simmons). She in turn is drawn to a jailbird and lady-killer (Arinze Kene), who himself is sought out by a vengeful wannabe lover (Harry Hepple) of one of his old conquests. The latter finds himself distracted by the attentions of scary local slapper (Naana Agyei-Ampadu).

The elaborate erotic minuet that follows is accompanied by a pounding rock score, some splendid voices (Agyei-Ampadu’s huge, tuneful tones, accompanying her bumptious character, are a particular pleasure) and Walker’s eccentric, beguiling, almost Jacobean dialogue. In the end, this piece says little about commitment, passion and emotion that we don’t already know, but it cleverly avoids a simple tie-up, while bawdy humour and first-rate ensemble work make it a terrific night out.

Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, until 30 Aug (not 24), times vary, £16–£18 (£11–£12).

This article is from 2009.

Been So Long

  • 3 stars

Romance, revenge and rare groove rage in Che Walker and Arthur Darvill's neon-soaked musical.Premiered at London's Young Vic, the cast includes singing sensation, Omar.Smarten up and experience the soul/funk powerhouse of 'Been So Long'.

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