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Review: All or Nothing – The Mod Musical, at Ambassador Theatre

19 April, 2018 — By Paul Cowling

Carol Harrison in All or Nothing. Photo: Phil Weedon

FORMER EastEnders actress Carol Harrison wrote, produced and appears in this lively musical tribute to fabled 60s group, The Small Faces.

Harrison is bubbly and droll as Kay, the mother of the band’s lead singer, Steve Marriott.

There are two Steves on stage– the hyperactive teen Steve (Mark Newnham) who walked out on the group live on stage in 1968 because he couldn’t handle the fame, and an older, boozier, bitter-sweet Steve, played with cockney geezer conviction by Chris Simmons.

Beer glass in hand, and crossing from smug smirk swagger to loving nostalgic glance, Simmons narrates the story of the band’s brief rise to Mod Rocker and R&B heights.

These were the group’s teen girl scream years of Top of the Pops, where the band have a cringeworthy, slapstick showdown with Tony Blackburn. Daniel Beales morphs well into pop picker Blackburn.

Beales also launches the audience into chortles aplenty, as an extravagantly pudding basin coiffed Sonny Bono, complete with accentuated man boobs from behind a taupe turtle neck.

The 60s dancing and fashion is spot on, but while the live music set holds well pre-interval, it’s more ear-bursting post-ice cream, as these Small Faces get lost in a psychedelic drug haze.

But, a rousing, audience sing-and-clap finale ensures the curtain comes down rather well on one of Britain’s most iconic and understated musical acts. Recommended.

Until June 2
020 7395 5405

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