If you think that scandal is rife these days, spare a thought for those involved in a spot of carnal dalliance back in the 1920's. No Twitter to vent your feelings, no gossip columns in the Daily Mail and certainly no sensationalist chat-shows or discussion forums on daytime TV. There weren't any TVs, for a start (unless your surname was Baird).
If you happened to be a leading impresario in the world of Hollywood movies, say, a director as big as Mack Sennett and mixed up romantically with an artist's model called Mabel Normand, tongues were bound to wag. Create a tumultuous relationship between the pair of you and the whole affair would almost certainly be the talk of the town and the makings of a darned good story. Or musical.
'Mack & Mabel' is both. Written in the '70s by Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart and set in the '20s, the plot centres on the aforementioned couple who remained a partnership through two decades of ex-model and delivery girl Mabel's appearances in Mack's famous 'two-reelers' and Mack's insistence in 'making the world laugh', often at Mabel's expense. Eventually, Mabel seeks solace in the arms of another director, leaving Mack to pick up the pieces with his Bathing Beauties and Keystone Cops. As with all true romances, the pair reunites before tragedy strikes.
The memorable songs include 'Look What Happened To Mabel', 'Time Heals Everything', 'Wherever He Ain't' and 'Tap Your Troubles Away' and the whole musical has zip and style from head to toes. This updated remake at London's Southwark Playhouse comes from the same team that brought you 'Parade' in 2011 and stars Norman Bowman and Laura Pitt-Pulford.
Performances started this week and the run will continue until 25th August with tickets available from us now, priced from £10 to £22.50. Note that during the Olympics from 28th July to 12th August, performances will start later than advertised (8pm).