Review Round Up: Fanny & Stella, The Garden Theatre

We round up the reviews for the first Fringe musical production to open in London since lockdown.

(c)Alex Hinson

WhatsOnStage: *** “Steven Dexter directs with an efficient flair that makes full use of the limited space and David Shields’ costume design is terrific. But it’s hard to escape the sense that this is a show powered on good-will and energy rather than on the sophistication and style of its story telling.”

The Telegraph: *** “A renovated pub garden plays host to a story of cross-dressing and homophobia – but does it take its subject seriously enough?”

The Arts Desk: *** “Stephen Dexter’s production is hard to resist. David Shields’ design, with its pot plants and red velvet curtains, is part palm court, part theatre. Our dauntless duo – Jed Berry’s Stella, and Kane Verrall’s Fanny – are togged up in flounces, bloomers and leather corsets, or, in their male guise, in period waistcoats teamed with skin-tight jeans and DMs. Along with a four-strong supporting cast, they strut, swirl and flounce through such cheerfully ribald numbers, choreographed with high-kicking verve and economy by Nick Winston, as Sodomy on the Strand and Has Anyone Seen My Fanny?

(c) Alex Hinson

London Theatre1: **** “Fans of ‘music hall’ songs will love the style of many of the numbers. Aaron Clingham does a sterling job as musical director.”

The Upcoming: **** “With high-octane, enduring music hall songs and consistent grade-A performances from the company and music director Aaron Clingham, it’s impossible not to be charmed by Fanny and Stella.”

Broadway World: ***** “Fanny & Stella is important, educational and a whole lot of fun.”

The Reviews Hub: **** “The overall result is a piece which disguises itself as a musical and which tells us it is but an evening of slight frippery. Look closer, and you see a tale of immense depth and character.”

Musical Theatre Review: **** “If you feel ready to re-enter the real world, there are few safer places to do so than at The Eagle in the audience of this show, and none that will give you such a great night of bawdy and captivating fun.”

iNews: *** “Verrall’s Fanny is a nice mix of wistful and waspish, while Berry’s Stella is exuberant, extravagant fun, an outrageous flirt who pouts, parades and strops while grinding multiple men’s affections beneath a high-heeled boot.”

Fanny & Stella plays at The Garden Theatre until the 25th August. For more information and to book tickets visit:

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