|Ceri Ann Gregory
Alfie has been a radio broadcast, a book, a play and two turns before being twisted into a musical. The story ot the loveable womaniser was quite a bit happier in its earlier versions. Although the songs are generally well-written and well-sung, many seem out of place in a story which covers - among other issues - an illegal and traumatic abortion.
Darren Day plays well on his love-rat image, although he falls well short of Michael Caine's Cockney charm, which he is doing his best to emulate. You certainly wonder from time to time why all these women are drawn to him. Day is well supported by Alfie's various girlfriends, especially Ceri Ann Gregory as Siddie and Rebecca Trehearn as Annie, both of whom handle their torch songs with real style. The best numbers are the upbeat songs, giving Day and ensemble a chance to belt out the cheeky lyrics and have a knees-up. Sadly, these numbers fade out in the second act as the subject matter becomes too weighty. Where some musicals are entirely sung through and others are dialogue-based with the occasional break for a song, Alfie is trying to be something in the middle. This format is not entirely successful and the second act seems to descend into one long ballad. Scenery - designed by Ruari Murchison - did not behave well at this performance, with a particularly troublesome curtain, while flats were pulled on and off stage for no apparent reason. A pleasant enough evening with some outstanding moments but overall perhaps one makeover too many for Alfie.