Review: My Judy Garland Life at Nottingham Playhouse

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Hollywood screen star Judy Garland stole the show in virtually every film and stage production she appeared in - and even after her death continues to do so.

At least Sally Ann Triplett’s portrayal of the singer and actress was the show stealer in Nottingham Playhouse’s new production My Judy Garland Life.

She was insecure and vulnerable and vivacious and entertaining, and had the most wonderful voice that captivated the audience as she belted out Judy’s best known songs.

Adapted for the stage by Nottingham playwright Amanda Whittington, My Judy Garland Life is based on the memoir by Susie Boyt and explores the joy and heartache that comes with hero-worshipping the film star.

The production was enjoyable enough, but there was one problem with it - the narrative was confusing and at times I was not sure what the relevance was of what I was watching.

The production jumped from random scene to random scene, featuring songs and dances and conversations that Susie shared with her idol in the world of her dreams.

It showed how a love of Judy helped Susie through the difficult points in her life, but exactly what and how was not examined in detail.

Faye Elvin played a likeable enough Susie, but it would have been nice to get to know her character a little better and see how she developed this adoration for Judy and how this really changed her life. The fact we saw little of her ‘real’ life meant that the context was lost.

The best things about the play were the excellent song and dance routines - featuring live music - and the visually stunning set - complete with yellow brick road, sparkly red piano and video screens that brought other characters and details into the plot.

My Judy Garland Life is on at the Nottingham Playhouse until Saturday 15th February.