Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. That’s the theme of this new musical, set in a busy London café and dropping into the lives, loves and problems of its flurry of customers.
It’s a good backdrop for a rich slice of life, which composer and lyricist Stephanie Jayne Amies gets plenty of mileage out of. Among many others, we meet a homeless busker, a professionally frustrated delivery guy and an actor waiting for her big break. They’re all overseen by kindly café owner Rosa, who has returned to London after the death of her Sicilian mother.
Director Kevin Jones keeps the energy up and the cast flowing skilfully around the audience in the production’s semi-site-specific staging. And the ensemble, each of whom plays multiple roles, sketch their characters sharply, and sing beautifully. But the absence of any real narrative sees the vignettes—some of which are more successful than others—verge on the samey.
Tomorrow, Maybe may turn up in modern clothes, with its Apple Pay sticker on the set’s fake till and lyrical digs at London transport, but it’s a warmly old-fashioned show at heart, with poignant melodies backed by Teddy Clements’ swelling arrangements. And Amies’ lyrics lean towards wistful and sad, rather than cynical. There’s more sugar than salt in this brew.
Ultimately, this show never develops like it could. And Rosa, as a character, is too saintly to be true. But this is still an extremely enjoyable, well-orchestrated new musical, full of heart.