Review: The Go-Between

With only days left until the end of its run there is just time to catch The Go-Between at the Apollo, Shaftesbury Avenue. Although many will book solely on the strength of Michael Crawford’s presence in the West End, it offers so much more than that – great though it is to see him, especially as he’s on stage pretty much throughout.

Gemma Sutton, William Thompson, Michael Crawford

Crawford is Leo Colton, a man haunted by events one childhood summer when he found himself acting as go-between for beautiful upper-class Marian (Gemma Sutton) and tenant farmer Ted (Stuart Ward). These events are played out in front of him on a moody and imposing single-set stage with music provided by an on-stage piano. So, very far from the spectacular musicals in which Crawford established himself. But the lack of spectacle is more than made up for in the intimacy and intensity of the characters and story. It achieves that rare thing to which all theatre surely strives – transporting the audience completely into the events and emotions with the performers.

Crawford re-lives the joys and stresses of that summer both when he is centre stage but also, and perhaps most tellingly, when he is simply a bystander to his own past, watching the action. Crawford knows he is a star presence and uses that, so even in those moments where his past life is being acted out by others his being on the stage adds to rather than detracts from the action.

Equally compelling was young Leo, at this performance played with grace and confidence by Luka Green. He has a very physical role, allowing himself to be picked-up and carried about the stage in a several of the musical numbers. Equally engaging was Samuel Menhinick as his best friend Marcus.

So by all means go because you want to see one of our greatest stars of musical theatre, but come away having been taken with him back to a magical and significant long-gone summer.

The Go-Between is at The Apollo theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue until 15 October 2016. Tickets and further information available at







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