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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Champion, Pet!
Comic strips being turned into stage musicals are nothing new. Most famously Little Orphan Annie made it big on Broadway. However, this musical has several key points of difference from ‘Annie’, ‘Snoopy’ and the like. Namely, ‘Andy Capp’ is a thoroughly British (specifically North Eastern) creation, and perhaps more importantly this...
Published 7 months ago by Mark Clegg

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Andy Capp - The Musical
Like most stage musical recordings, this album will have much greater appeal if you saw this relatively short-lived musical, although he fact that the storyline was very much north-east based, it's limited life in the West End was no real surprise. Nevertheless, the songs by Alan Price & Trevor Peacock (Jim Trott in Vicar of Dibley) tell their stories well. If you didn't...
Published 6 months ago by W. Baker


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Champion, Pet!, 17 May 2014
By 
Mark Clegg "Nathan's Dad" (Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Andy Capp (Original West End Cast Recording) (Audio CD)
Comic strips being turned into stage musicals are nothing new. Most famously Little Orphan Annie made it big on Broadway. However, this musical has several key points of difference from ‘Annie’, ‘Snoopy’ and the like. Namely, ‘Andy Capp’ is a thoroughly British (specifically North Eastern) creation, and perhaps more importantly this musical has clearly been created with an adult audience in mind. After all, the central character is a womanising, chain-smoking, work-shy, landlord-dodging, drunken gambler. This is a recording of the musical based on Reg Smythe’s comic strip that premiered in 1982 and which is appearing on CD for the first time.

Having such an unsympathetic protagonist could spell disaster. However in the capable hands of Tom Courtenay, Andy becomes lovable rouge while never feeling watered down. In fact Trevor Peacock and Alan Price’s songs, while leaning towards an irreverent music-hall style contain real insight and wisdom as well as some hard-hitting moments of drama within the comedy. Courtenay is excellent as Andy and shows great prowess at being genuinely hilarious in numbers such as I Ought to Be Ashamed of Myself which perfectly sets up his character, and Hermione which is made up of a list of his saucy encounters with various ladies. Humour is also apparent in Don’t Tell Me That Again where Andy and his long-suffering wife Flo (Val McLane) embark on a mammoth marital row. However the comedy quickly gives way to genuine shock as the barbs become more hurtful, and it is here that the talent of Courtenay and the writers becomes most apparent. McLane’s Flo is more than a match for her waster of a husband and is allowed her moment in the spotlight with Spend, Spend, Spend before wringing real emotion out of the truly beautiful When You’ve Lived in Love with Someone.

To highlight how different relationships can be, Andy and Flo’s tempestuous relationship is contrasted with two other couples – Elvis and Raquel (Michael Mueller and Nicky Croydon) who are planning their wedding, and Mrs and Mr Scrimmett (Vivienne Ross and Robert Vahey), Raquel’s overbearing mother and her hen-pecked husband. Ross in particular shines with a couple of wonderfully funny numbers: Goin’ to Barcelona which chronicles her expensive plans for the upcoming wedding, and Oh, Gawd, Men… Beasts! which rather speaks for itself.

This recording does suffer ever so slightly from a blight that plagued musicals in the early ‘80’s – obviously synthesized music. However, this does not detract from lyrics that are frequently laugh-out-loud funny (“He’ll like it/Or lump it/What he spends on his crumpet/Is more that Louis Armstrong got for blowing on his trumpet”) and a score that features some great tunes that linger long in the memory. This show has been a favourite with amateur companies for years, and on the strength of this CD one wonders how this musical not been revived professionally yet…
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A musical gem rediscovered, 9 April 2014
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R. Cope "cope2" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Andy Capp (Original West End Cast Recording) (Audio CD)
I have to admit that I did not see "Andy Capp" in the theatre back in the early 1980s, although I remember it being on in the West End. Now some thirty plus years later I was intrigued by this reissue from Stage Door Records, and having admired the musicianship of composer Alan Price in the past thought I would take a chance on ordering it. I am so glad I did. This is a wonderful fusion of pop and music hall, taking the sterotypical cartoon characters and breathing a deeper life into them without ever losing sight of the origins of the piece. Trevor Peacock (probably best known to everyone as Jim Trott in 'The Vicar Of Dibley') ably provides the book and shares lyrical duties with Price. "I Ought To Be Ashamed Of Myself" becomes the knees up anthem to the show, as Andy's attitude through life is mapped out. "Good Old Legs" is a terrific number, as Capp's beer riddled philosphy is hammered home as he staggers though the streets trying to find his front door. By contrast "When You Have Lived In Love With Someone" is a terrific soliloquy for Andy's long suffering wife Flo which finds real pathos. The casting is top notch. Tom Courtenay gives us a very believeable Andy Capp with Val McLane (from Auf Wiedersehen Pet, and Jimmy Nail's real life sister) matching him every step of the way as Flo. Added to this lovely stage pairing are veterans John (EastEnders) Bardon and Nicky Croydon, among a very fine ensemble. Then there is Alan Price, himself part of the company as Geordie, a narrator figure, allowing him to add his talents to this outstanding recording. Stage Door Records have remastered the album from the original studio tapes, and it sounds gorgeous on modern devices. The clarity of both vocals and the 15 piece band one of the real delights of this re-issue. If you are looking for a tuneful, comic, feel good show then I urge you to give this a try. I have played it numerous times since receiving it and I am glad it is now part of my show collection. A show ripe for revival I am thinking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Andy Capp - The Musical, 25 Jun 2014
By 
W. Baker (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Andy Capp (Original West End Cast Recording) (Audio CD)
Like most stage musical recordings, this album will have much greater appeal if you saw this relatively short-lived musical, although he fact that the storyline was very much north-east based, it's limited life in the West End was no real surprise. Nevertheless, the songs by Alan Price & Trevor Peacock (Jim Trott in Vicar of Dibley) tell their stories well. If you didn't see the stage production, I suspect that this album will have little appeal but if you did, it should bring back happy memories of excellent performances, recreated in this recording, by Tom Courtney and Val McLane in particular as Andy Capp and his wife Flo plus tracks by Alan price and the supporting cast. For those reasons, I enjoy it but it certainly won't appeal to everyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars i enjoyed it a lot, 14 July 2014
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Mr. Mj Keast "musicals bore" (truro,uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Andy Capp (Original West End Cast Recording) (Audio CD)
bit of an oddity this one.....i enjoyed it a lot...witty,tuneful score........would make a great amateur production show if you could get the rights to it....go buy!!!!!!
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Andy Capp (Original West End Cast Recording)
Andy Capp (Original West End Cast Recording) by Alan Price (Audio CD - 2014)
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