Peggy Sue Got Married, which opened last night, has given the often-troubled Shaftesbury Theatre a much-needed shot in the arm.
The musical is a vehicle for British star Ruthie Henshall, who has returned to the West End following several years successfully perfoming on Broadway (Chicago, Putting it Together). For the first time she has the opportunity to create a stage role rather than follow in the distinguished footsteps of other actresses. (True, Kathleen Turner got to Peggy Sue first, but that was on screen.)
What is it about Kathleen Turner and the West End? Having launched The Graduate (itself a stage version of a film) lower down Shaftesbury Avenue, the unfashionable end of the street is now hosting a stage musical version of her 1986 movie, Peggy Sue Got Married, in which she played a time travelling middle-aged woman, literally revisiting the scenes of her youth.
Henshall's performance was rapturously recieved by critics, with relatively unknown costar Andrew Kennedy also reaping plaudits. Given the popularity of 1950s songs — as evidenced by the long-running phenomenon, Buddy at the Strand theatre in the Aldwych, Peggy Sue Got Married looks poised for a popular run.
by Paul Webb Theatrenow