A great day for London, Team GB and all the rest of it. Super Saturday, as the media decided to call yesterday, panned out beautifully in the end, with the six golds. So what a great way to build on that existing feel-good by taking in this show at the Leicester Square Theatre. Loving London is self-evidently a celebration of our city. Actress, artiste and chanteuse Fiona-Jane Weston has assembled an eclectic selection of favourites which she belts out, ably assisted by highly accomplished ivory tickler Warren Wills.
The show is topped and tailed by Downtown. By the end, the audience was gaily singing along con gusto. Between these renditions we have titles as diverse as 80s favourites Werewolves of London and London Calling mixed with cabaret standards Mack the Knife and Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’ Be. These were intersperced with well-chosen and delivered readings from Pepys, Dickens, Betjemen, Dryden, Pinter. For me there are two highlights in particular: A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square sung in the style of Noel Coward and a song written by Coward himself: London Pride, an achingly moving tribute to the spirit of Londoners during the Blitz, characterised by the eponymous flower. There is a strong nostalgic feel to the whole proceedings, whether or not one was even alive at the time.
So something for everybody, as they say. Miss Weston engages the audience with enthusiasm and warmth. The venue is the basement space at the theatre, seating around 70 (full last night, including other London Historians members it was a nice surprise to bump into) giving an intimate feel. Loving London only has two more shows next Friday and Saturday (10 and 11 August). Tickets are £15 with a generous discount for groups of six or more.