An uneasy farm woman in Iowa is knocked off her feet by a tall city photographer strolling into her kitchen. The theme of the Bridges of Madison County may be as old as they come, but the book-turned-film-turned-musical is anything but a stale fairy tale, directed by Trevor Nunn, and with a beautiful, believable mating in the heart.
The Italian emigrant and mother of two, Francesca (Jenna Russell), senses how the romance unfolds while she is married to the province of Bud. While the family is away from home, she is tempted after a chance meeting with the traveling Snapper Robert (Edward Baker-Duly) - a man who sings to be temporarily lost.
A will-be-you-not-them story that threatens to be too gentle even in midsummer is instead enlivened by small details. A refrigerator with a mocking box of cornflakes hisses on rails behind Francesca. Jon Bausor's set goes out of his way to reconcile mundane family life with the appeal of Robert's life on the street.
In act two, the show gets ready with its incomplete source material; The characters go through transformations that compromise credibility and, as a result, are more likely to be pulled by events. Nunn's antidote to the cliché is to accept it - with a surprising double background. a down to earth rodeo number ("State Road 21"). Fortunately, the orchestra is sharper than the spurs of a cowboy.
The Bridges of Madison County, Menier Chocolate Factory, 53 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU. Tickets £ 25- £ 57.50 until 14th September 2019.
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