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Review: Daddy Long Legs A Musical

The Barn Theatre, Cirencester

Daddy Long legs

The first musical show of the season has arrived at The Barn Theatre and while it may not be one you are as familiar with it is definitely not one to be missed.

Daddy Long Legs takes us back to 1908 but the themes explored throughout the production of the importance of education, discovering who you are as a person and of course friendship and love are just as relevant today.

Jerusha Abbott is an 18 year old orphan who is fortunate enough to be able to be sent to college thanks to a mysterious benefactor. After only managing to glimpse his long shadow cast on the wall as he leaves she affectionately refers to him as Daddy Long Legs.

The show is largely constructed around Jerusha’s letters sent to him over her many years at college as part of the agreement. She describes her new life with all its up and downs and he begins to see the woman she is becoming.

The score of this musical is so enchanting. Expertly played by the three band members on cello, guitar and piano. They help bring the show to life and along with the clever use of lighting convey so much atmosphere.

The cast are so captivating that it’s only when leaving the show you reflect on the fact that it was only the both of them accompanied by the band on stage. Their engaging performances have enabled you to meet many more interesting characters along the way.

Rebecca Jayne-Davies plays Jerusha with such spirit, she is full of warmth and humour and you feel every experience and new adventure right along with her. She longs to hear back from Daddy Long Legs, to know more of what kind of person he is and what he may look like.  Much of the comedy in this brilliant production is derived from the fact she wrongly suspects him to be much more advanced in his years than he actual is.

Ryan Bennett equally conveys so many emotions on stage as Jervis Pendleton/ Daddy Long Legs. The craft of letter writing is disappearing these days but we are luckily enough to be part of the intimacy these two characters build through the letters they share. As Jervis discovers more about Jerusha he is actually also learning so much more about himself.

This is such a feel good musical. It is the perfect mix of emotions and comedy as the characters discover the secret of their happiness. 

The singing is outstanding and the stamina and professionalism of the cast especially when you consider they rarely get to leave the stage was a joy to watch. The show ended with a well deserved standing ovation from the audience who had been taken on such a beautiful journey.  Daddy Long Legs is at The Barn theatre till November 2nd.

Joanne Robbins 


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