Ordinary Days – Sir John Mills Theatre Ipswich

Gallery Players have long had a tradition of presenting new work and with Adam Gwon’s musical Ordinary Days they manage to trump the National Theatre.

Adam Gwon is one of America’s up and coming musical composers and if this piece is anything to go by is surely a front runner to succeed Stephen Sondheim when the Maestro finally puts down his manuscripts.

Set in New York this chamber musical follows the lives of four thirty-somethings going about their daily routine in the big city. The show may be titled ordinary days but this is anything but ordinary – this charming, moving and incredibly witty show is packed from start to finish with beautifully crafted songs, at first seeming unlinked but as they progress developing into an interlinking narrative involving all four characters.

There are echoes of Sondheim here but also Jonathon Larson and Avenue Q’s Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx but mixed with a unique sound.

Director Steve Wooldridge draws out the humour but also the multi layered hopes, fears and dreams of these New Yorkers.

While the score is outstanding, it of course needs a cast to perform it and Phil Kinsella, Clare Dungey, Steve Watts and Helen Wheatley all step up to the mark and deliver spot on performances.

The musical arrangement for Piano, Cello and Guitar works well in such an intimate space, managing to underscore when necessary then belt it out as required.

The one minor niggle of the evening would be a few issues with some uninspired lighting and blackspots but these are minor concerns in a thoroughly impressive production.

You may not have heard of the show before but why not catch it now and then be able to say you where there when it becomes a major hit. Oh and the reference to the National Theatre – apparently there are plans for the National Theatre to present Ordinary Days in the future.

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