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Gielgud Theatre

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Gielgud Theatre, London

Camp? Well, let's put it this way. Kneehigh's stage adaptation of Jacques Demy's Gallic, unashamedly romantic and singularly through-sung 1964 movie musical was only half way through its cod introduction when I was assailed by a sudden Proustian memory. It was of an edition of Just a Minute in which Kenneth Williams was given, as his subject, the phrase "Honi soit qui mal y pense". "Translated into yer actual English," the great man averred, "that means 'Honest sweat killed many a ponce'."

Hair, Gielgud Theatre, London

Critics always say that the most important element in a musical is the libretto, or book. Audiences don't care about this so much if the music is good, hence the popularity of Verdi, Puccini, and Lloyd Webber.

The Pirates of Penzance, Gielgud Theatre, London

Peter Mulloy's feisty period stagings of the Savoy Operas have proved beyond reasonable doubt that you don't need elaborate and gimmicky stage values to raise the necessary chuckles with these well-worn pieces. An experienced crew of singing actors and a strong sense of English eccentricity will do nicely.