There is a warm chemistry between the performers that evokes a long friendship, making them both inviting hosts and a well-suited musical pairing…
Read the full review below. reviewshub.com
Four and five-star reviews are coming in from both sides of the pond for Peter Polycarpou’s show Falling Stars.
A charming and fascinating exploration of composers, collaborators, and publishers of the 1920s. LondonLoveCulture.com
There is a warm chemistry between the performers that evokes a long friendship, making them both inviting hosts and a well-suited musical pairing. Reviewshub.com
The team behind Falling Stars may not have planned for it to be a digital production, but fate means that this lovingly curated homage to a bygone era can be enjoyed by a much wider audience, who can be grateful that this lost songbook has once again been found. Theatreweekly.com
Exploring the extraordinary songbook of the 1920s, Peter Polycarpou and Sally Ann Triplett are fantastic in the hauntingly excellent Falling Stars. Oughtobeclowns.com
Directed and staged by Michael Strassen with musical direction by Robert Emery, Falling Stars offers moments of joy as well as nuggets of musical history but is cut through with a poignant sadness that concludes on a sombre note. Although the hour-long show is entertaining and well-made. Britishtheatre.com
A richly rewarding experience. Mytheatremates.com
The songs may have ended, but the melodies linger on in this enchanting revue directed by Michael Strassen conceived by Peter Polycarpou, and performed by him and the magnificent Sally Ann Triplett. Reviewsgate.com
Sunday Express review.
NY Times – Jesse Green Chief Theatre critic. Full review below.
Happily, a third recent revue — “Falling Stars,” created by Peter Polycarpou and directed by Michael Strassen — dispenses with overworked intentionality in favor of simple tunefulness and surprise. It does have a frame, though: While perusing sheet music at an antique shop in London, Polycarpou comes upon an anthology of songs from the 1920s. Most of these songs are long forgotten, despite some hilarious titles. (I especially enjoyed “When It’s Nighttime in Italy It’s Wednesday Over Here.”) Of the few that remain familiar today, even fewer remain viable, thanks to changing tastes in ethnic humor (“Yes! We Have No Bananas”), sexual politics (“Tea for Two”), and treacly confections (“Falling Star,” the Charlie Chaplin weeper from which the revue derives its title). Only Irving Berlin’s “What’ll I Do?” is a truly ageless standard, the kind that will never not be in a revue somewhere. No matter; even the dusty material, delivered in the genially unpretentious British music hall style by Polycarpou, a versatile baritone, and the West End star Sally Ann Triplett, is diverting. It hails from an era before songwriters typically thought of themselves as dramatists, let alone artists. This is not to say the songs are all silly; befitting material written in the aftermath of World War I and the influenza pandemic of 1918, a vein of melancholy asserts itself, even, by a kind of manic denial, in the high-spirited romps. Polycarpou does not need to underline the connections; it’s enough to say that “Falling Stars,” which was designed to be performed live at the Union Theater in London, had to revamp itself for streaming after the second wave of coronavirus shutdowns there. The effect of uncovering these nearly 100-year-old songs today is thus like shining a flashlight into a cellar: Some things skitter back into the dark but a few things glint with minor promise. Both are perfect for a revue, a form that’s paradoxically better suited to songs that bear just one rehearing than to those that bear a thousand.