Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Jim Barne and Kit Buchan’s musical, playing at the Kiln Theatre until the 20th January.

(c)Marc Brenner

Broadway World: *** “Theatre sweetheart Sam Tutty and rising star Dujonna Gift share some brilliant banter, filling the space with bold personalities and decisive characterisations that display a layered depth.”

The Guardian: **** “In Tim Jackson’s engaging production, wonderfully performed by Gift and Tutty, Two Strangers wears its romcom influences proudly but never sappily. Funny, heartfelt but unsentimental, it’s a charmer.”

Evening Standard: **** “The denouement is delicately handled and the whole thing really, really made me want to visit New York again. The Christmas shows seem to come earlier each year, but when they are as sweet as this, they’re very welcome.”

The Independent: **** “If you’re after Christmas cheer without the sentimentality (or wince-inducing panto puns) you’ll be captivated by this seasonal gem of a musical.”

Time Out: **** “The first half is about 15 minutes too long, and I think Dougal could be a grating character in the hands of a less winning actor than Tutty. But these are minor quibbles in the face of this perfectly balanced little show – snowflake light but with a surprising sting. A properly charming turning on of the lights for the 2023 London Christmas theatre season.”

(c) Marc Brenner

WhatsOnStage: *** “Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York) is perfectly watchable but it never feels like there’s enough at stake, or that this is a story that needed to be told with songs. It’s pleasant but it lacks edge and substance, and we don’t get sufficient information about the two strangers to really invest in them. What might have been charming for about eighty minutes feels a bit overstretched across two hours plus interval. Still, it establishes Gift as a scintillating new leading lady, and Tutty fans will have an absolute ball.”

West End Best Friend: ***** “Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York) is a simply joyous show and what’s not to love about a musical that leaves you smiling from ear to ear.”

The Telegraph: **** “Jim Barne and Kit Buchan’s heartfelt musical two-hander has all the ingredients to be an irresistibly sweet treat for the festive season.”

The Stage: *** “Jim Barne and Kit Buchan’s bittersweet fairytale of New York, directed by Tim Jackson and starring Dujonna Gift and Sam Tutty, is charming and good-looking, but insubstantial.”

The Spy in the Stalls: ***** “Tim Jackson’s lively production never misses a beat, played out on a revolve that circles Soutra Gilmour’s ingenious set of piles of greyed-out suitcases that open and close to reveal the various locations, props, and the surprises and secrets of our protagonists. These characters have many shades, reflected and amplified by Jack Knowles’ moody, sensitive and innovative lighting.”

(c) Marc Brenner

Theatre Weekly: “Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York) is naturally defined by its small cast and the combination of Gift and Tutty couldn’t be any better. If this were a movie, it would be the one that you curl up on the couch with when you want to laugh, cry and see a little sprinkling of snowfall.”

Lost in Theatreland: **** “With some brilliant performances and great songs, it’s definitely a show worth watching, and there’s a lot of potential here, but some fine-tuning is needed to determine the theme of the show. It’s a perfect show for this time of year, with a festive and heartwarming feel to it.”

The Reviews Hub: **** “Two Strangers… is unlikely to change anybody’s mind about whether or not to love the idea of a rom-com Christmas in New York. But it contains enough for both lovers and haters of the form to enjoy – and maybe find unity in the combined spirit of Tutty, Gift, Barne and Buchan.”

All That Dazzles: **** “Tim Jackson’s direction and choreography maximises not just Barne and Buchan’s writing but the pair of performers to create a show that always affects and entertains, and never comes close to being slow or repetitive.”

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