Bobby and Polly

Tom Chambers as Bobby and Charlotte Wakefield as Polly. Picture: Richard Davenport

Crazy for You

Malvern Theatres


I got rhythm, I got music, I got my man, who could ask for anything more? –Who could indeed, all thanks to George and Ira Gershwin.

I went to bed last night singing this tune and it is still dancing around my head this morning after an extremely slick performance of Crazy for You at Malvern Theatres.

Who really could ask for anything more? There was pizazz, glitz, glamour and laughter with a packed-out audience tapping their feet and smiling away as the on stage musicians kept up the rhythm.

Charlotte Wakefield, as Polly, sang and danced her heart out to match the exuberant moves by Tom Chambers as Bobby. They were exquisitely matched as we joined them on their quest for love from New York City to Dead Rock in Nevada.

The fabulous score from the Gershwin brothers’ songbook was performed on the stage live with the musicians not only playing their instruments but dancing, singing and acting simultaneously and with such precision there wasn’t a dropped drumstick or lost beat even when sticks went flying across the stage.

I heard an audible gasp of wonder when towards the end of the first act there was a medley of swirling instruments and tapping of shoes and floating dresses amalgamating into a beating throng of choreographed well-timed rhythm.

At the interval I overheard audience members uttering their joy at being at the show and how much they were enjoying the musical numbers such as ‘Things are looking up’, ‘Someone to watch over me’ and ‘Tonight’s the Night’. There was an excited anticipation for the hilarious deception to unravel in the second act and a genuine fascination to see how the two Zanglers would be uncovered.

The start of act two was extremely amusing, as Bobby, who was also pretending to be Bela Zangler to save the Dead Rock Theatre that couldn’t keep up with the mortgage payments and who Bobby was sent to repossess, drunkenly meets the real Zangler (Neil Ditt).

Bobby and Zangler mirror each other spectacularly and with great timing and charm reminding me of Laurel and Hardy sketches.

The second act is where Irene (Claire Sweeny) really goes for it and belts out ‘Naughty Baby’ as she woos hotel proprietor Lank (Christopher Fry). Irene exudes stage presence and soon gets over the fact that her fiancé Bobby has fallen in love with Polly.

Follie girls, cowboys, bankers, Hungarian theatre directors, pushy mothers and a love story with an extremely happy ending is what all the best musicals are about! Tom Chambers was a mean tap dancer, add to that the impressive musicians and a finale with a giant moon crescent.

I certainly went home with a big smile on my face. Who could ask for anything more?

The Watermill Theatre’s acclaimed production of ‘Crazy for You’, directed by Paul Hart is at Malvern Theatres till Saturday 3 February. Box Office on 01684 892277 or online at

Emma Trimble


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