Ordinary Days | Online Stream | Review

November 21, 2020

Ordinary Days
Online Stream
Reviewed by Mia Goddard

Following it's run in 2014 at The King’s Arms, Manchester, Top Note Arts’ production of Ordinary Days is returning, this time for an online audience. This version has been filmed during lockdown and reunites the 2014 cast and creative team for a virtual production.

Set on the bustling streets of New York City, Ordinary Days singles out four average New Yorkers whose lives end up unexpectedly entwined. The plot follows Jason and Claire, a couple inching towards marriage but ultimately can’t seem to completely figure each other out, due to an unspeakable tragedy from years ago. Intersecting their story is the friendship between Deb, who is a graduate student whose lost notebook containing all her notes for her thesis is found by Warren, a struggling artist.

Adam Gwon’s four-person song cycle has played around the world professionally, in university settings, and at community theatres, and leaves audiences finding and appreciating the beauty in their everyday lives.

I missed this production during its original run back in 2014 so I'm over the moon I got the chance to see it online this week. The show itself is a favourite of mine and has an incredible score with some very underrated tunes. As you can imagine, it must have been difficult to put this piece together due to the obvious restrictions, but nevertheless it was a joy to watch.

It is safe to say that the musical was brought to life by its four cast members, who all embodied the eclectic personalities of their characters. Oliver Jacobson is brilliant as charmingly naïve Warren, and he immediately engaged the audience with his infectious energy and enthusiasm. Aim
ée Horwich as Deb is hilarious and her musicality is impossible to critique. Her character is one we can all relate to and 'Don't Wanna Be Here' was a highlight for me.

Matt Concannon brings real warmth to Jason. His voice is very strong and blends perfectly with Laura Coard as Claire. Her character’s emotional reveal at the end of the piece is perfectly delivered. 'I'll Be Here' was a highlight of the show.

The skilful performance of musical director Scott Stait along with Rachel Shakespeare on cello and Tom Evans on clarinet was beautiful and really uplifting. The direction of the performance was in good hands under Leah Fogo and Matt Powell's video editing worked wonders. Adam Gwon is an excellent lyricist and his witty words are the highlight of the piece as a whole.

Ordinary Days is thoroughly entertaining, heart-warming and funny. It has you in fits of laughter one minute and the next your emotions will take over. The message of the show is truly beautiful and there was something so special about the show being about everyday people, and this was highlighted even further by the way it was filmed. Despite the circumstances, it was executed professionally and I'd love to see this musical return to the stage one day. 

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