Review: Priory shows off how to success without really trying

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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Priory Theatre until April 25

Keep ‘paté de fois gras to the sound of trumpets’, I’ll take my new favourite musical, the vivacious and delightful ‘How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying’.

It’s a challenge; some of the songs are really difficult but the cast tackled it all magnificently

The story concerns an ambitious window washer J. Pierrepont Finch aka Ponty (Kevin Wing) who spends his leisure time reading the eponymous self-help book (read by Priory Patron Dave Willetts).

He takes the advice seriously and clambers up the greasy pole to Chairman of the Board in a company whose sins exemplifies the capitalist ethos.

For one there’s nepotism, (Paul Boyle) President JB’s nephew Frump (Casey McKernan) has assured Ponty that all he’ll see on the way up is the seat of his pants.

Love interest from Rosemary (Clare Tyler), also voice coach, ensures exquisite NY nasal twangs throughout.

There are some truly great songs – my favourite was Coffee Break – and, for me, Smitty (Esther Taylor) simply stole the show – until JB’s ‘bit on the side’ showed up for a job.

As Hedy La Roue, Debbie Hotten was brilliant. I loved the little song ‘Love from a Heart of Gold’.

Just one thing, tidy up the scene shifts – get those tables on wheels…

This is a great show that I enjoyed enormously, it has everything, plenty of laughs, great cast, great singing and dancing, great skew whiff set, and great songs.

Rating 9/10

By Jane Howard