The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings








Etcetera and
Short Term Listings


NYC Restaurants


New Jersey







Free Updates
Writing for Us
A CurtainUp London London Review
The Thing About Men

by Sebastian King

This is so moving — it’s so fucked up — but it’s so moving. — Woman
The Thing About Men
Peter Gerald as Tom Ambrose and John Addison as Sebastian (Photo: Scott Rylander)
Following a successful run of small-scale revivals, the latest offering from the Landor Theatre is a new production of The Thing About Men by the creators of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. Based on the German film Men by Doris Dorries, it continues their previous show's exploration of love and relationships, with a particular focus on the male perspective.

Tom (Peter Gerald) is a man who has it all: a loving wife and children, a great job, and a sexy secretary with whom he is having an affair. But one day it all comes undone when he discovers that his wife Lucy (Kate Graham) is having an affair too. With the shoe now on the other foot, Tom goes into meltdown and unbeknownst to Lucy, moves in with her younger lover Sebastian (John Addison), intent on revenge. However, before long, friendship blossoms between the love rivals, and Tom's loyalties are torn.

Peter Gerald and Lucy Ambrose are both engaging, and with reports of ageism rife throughout the industry, it's a pleasure to see slightly more mature actors taking romantic lead roles. But the real star of the show is John Addison, who according to the programme is currently 'involved' in Andrew Lloyd-Webber's televised Superstar. Could he be Jesus? With a great voice and a charismatic energy, he would certainly get my vote. His Sebastian is handsome and energetic - a little rough around the edges perhaps, but he complements Gerald's smooth Tom, and the two together make an engaging double act.

Playing all of the other male roles, Steven Webb threatens to steal the show as a catty maitre d', with his all-too-short 'You Will Never Get Into This Restaurant.' Just as strong as his female counterpart is Lucyelle Cliffe who has some nice comic moments and a great voice. However, in this intimate space their larger-than-life characters are sometimes distractingly at odds with the more naturalistic performances from the leads.

Martin Thomas's set is a series of blocks and doorways, reflecting the New York skyline, and director Andrew Keates utilises it to its full potential to reflect various locations. Under Joanna Cichonska's musical direction, the three-piece band are tight, but the presence of the reed player just behind a frequently-used sofa is an unnecessary distraction.

The thing about The Thing About Men is that despite the best efforts of the cast and creative team, the piece itself never quite lives up to the promise of its setup. The songs are pleasant but unremarkable, the plot is slow-moving and predictable, and the moment when Tom's cover is finally blown is anticlimactic. That being said, you could do far worse on a summer evening than relaxing in the Landor's beautiful beer garden before being entertained by a great cast in this intimate - and air-conditioned (!) - gem of London's fringe.

Subscribe to our FREE email updates with a note from editor Elyse Sommer about additions to the website -- with main page hot links to the latest features posted at our numerous locations. To subscribe, E-mail:
put SUBSCRIBE CURTAINUP EMAIL UPDATE in the subject line and your full name and email address in the body of the message -- if you can spare a minute, tell us how you came to CurtainUp and from what part of the country.
The Thing About Men
Music by Jimmy Roberts
Book and lyrics by Jo DiPietro
Directed by Andrew Keates

Starring: John Addison, Peter Gerald, Kate Graham
With: Lucyelle Cliffe, Steven Webb
Designed by Martin Thomas
Lighting: Howard Hudson
Musical Director: Joanna Cichonska
Sound Designer: Sarah Weltman
Musical Staging: Cressida Carré
Running time: Two hours 10 minutes including interval
Box Office:  020 7737 7276
Booking to 9th June 2012
Reviewed by Sebastian King based on 23rd May performance at The Landor Theatre, 70 Landor Road,
Musical Numbers
Act One
  • Opening/Oh, What a Man!
  • No Competition for Me
  • Opportunity Knocking
  • Free, Easy Guy
  • Free, Easy Guy (Reprise)
  • Take Me into You
  • Because
  • The Confession
  • The Greatest Friend
  • Downtown Bohemian Slum
Act Two
  • You Will Never Get Into This Restaurant
  • Me, Too/One-Woman Man
  • Take Me into You (Reprise)
  • Highway of Your Heart
  • The Better Man Won
  • Too Road to Lucy
  • Make Me a Promise, Thomas
  • New, Beautiful Man
  • Time to Go Home
  • Finale/You Can Have It All
London Theatre Walks

Peter Ackroyd's  History of London: The Biography

London Sketchbook

tales from shakespeare
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
Click image to buy.
Our Review

©Copyright 2012, Elyse Sommer.
Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from