offering is old fashioned, but for those lovers of Cowardesque excellence, what does it matter? It is still good.
Donald Swann, who has been writing prolifically in recent years, comes very much alive with his new partner, BBC personality Frank Topping. Swann's mastery of the piano is nonpareille and his written work has not lost the slightest edge since the death of his equally gifted partner Michael Flanders some years back. Swann is a true member of the Coward tradition.
Some might think that Frank Topping (the man who picks up accents like other people pick up headaches) is almost too like Flanders, but by gum, he gets away with it.
One of Upstream's greatest advantagesisitssize.Beingsosmall, one meetstheperformerseyeballto eyeball during a production, and this is a definite asset to a show which is extraordinarily slick in its production: Messrs Swann and Topping exuded such warmth and pleasantness during the performance that the result was real enjoyment of a high quality show.
Yet it was a truly Christian revue, without being "preachy" and definitely not "religious". Swann and Topping are so superbly professional and so intrinsically funny that they don't fall into the usual traps. "Do you think God in his heaven hears our jokes?" they quip,"Hear them? He wrote 'ern !"
Go while the show is still at Upstream. Once it gets into the West End, it will lose some of its personal warmth, and the seats will be at least twice as expensive ... if you're able to get one that is.