MUSICAL REVIEW: The World Goes 'Round ★★★★

 The World Goes ‘Round

BarnFest, Cirencester

Monday 24th August, Saturday 5th September 2020

When the government announced that Live Theatre could resume from 11th July 2020, The Barn Theatre in Cirencester took this and created, rather brilliantly, BarnFest, an outside Festival with audience seated underneath a marquee, and programmed 9 extraordinarily different productions, catering to all ages, and ranging from one person shows (including Tweedy The Clown), right through to a rather sporty take on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream from Scoot Theatre!

Receiving the press invite for their latest production of ''The World Goes 'Round'' initially made my heart skip a beat, because even though I had already attended my first bit of outdoor theatre a few days prior at The Minack for Educating Rita, the thought of being back at The Barn Theatre was such a giddy moment, with the institution being one that constantly evolves to new heights and pushes it's potential, all thanks to Artistic Director Iwan Lewis, and Lead Producer Jamie Chapman Dixon. Whatever nerves audiences might have returning to The Barn Theatre so soon after a global pandemic, can even more quickly be put at ease once stepping back in through their new entrance (located by their adjacent restaurant, Téatros), as the Front of House team were on hand to effortlessly provide all the details and seating arrangements prior to our arrival, with staggered seating times on our PDF tickets, as well as plenty of signage when we entered through the seating area, a full 40 minutes as advised from our tickets.

The show itself, The World Goes 'Round, was a truly spectacular show, showcasing the array of sheer talent from the five creatives on stage; with Nick Barstow at the helm on the piano (and lending his vocals rather angelically throughout), Jenny Fitzpatrick, Ryan Carter, Rosalind Ford, and George Arvidson were on hand to lend their belting vocals for our complete delight, and made the rule of wearing masks not one that I personally despised, as I was mining along to some of the words without any anxiety taking over my social distanced area.

Whether it was the synchronicity of the companies movements during 'Coffee in a Cardboard Cup', Carter's soulful voice of 'Marry Me', or Fitzpatrick's smooth expressions throughout 'Arthur in the Afternoon', what worked so brilliantly was the ease that all the performers had around each other, which can all be thanked from Kirk Jameson's subtle direction hooked throughout, rather notably during Arvidson's tenderly sombre 'Mr Cellophane', which provided a lot of sighs and an arousing crescendo towards the grand finale, as the rest of the company looked far from in the moment to signify the loneliness that Amos Hart feels in the musical from where the song is taken from, Chicago. As the 70 minute production flew by without warning, the final two wonderfully chosen numbers (Cabaret and New York, New York) brought down the house (marquee) with smiles beaming from under our masks, or as far as I could see from the audience who were just as intently glued to the whole performance as I was throughout!

Playing until Saturday 5th September 2020, The World Goes 'Round is a wonderful production which'll have you joyfully (and safely) relaxed into a full 70 minute extravaganza with smooth of with charm and charisma, carried out from a terrific company of mind-blowing talent from the likes of Nick Barstow, Jenny Fitzpatrick, Ryan Carter, Rosalind Ford, and George Arvidson.


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