The Rink - A true Broadway gem

★★★★★The Rink - A true Broadway gem

Once again Southwark Playhouse is home to a stunning new production of one of Broadway’s infrequently produced gems, Kander and Ebb’s The Rink. Reviewing this show is very easy: it’s fantastic, amazing, incredible, joyous, unmissable, pure Broadway gold.

That said, The Rink is the story of, ‘Anna, an Italian housewife who runs a roller-skating rink on the Eastern coast of America, is about to sell it to developers until her estranged daughter, Angel, returns after a long absence, hoping to save the rink and patch things up with her mother.’

Caroline O’Connor, fresh from Anastasia on Broadway, is totally mesmerising as Anna. From the minute she walks on stage and sings Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, a review of the joys of being a mother that must strike a vibrant chord to any parent in the audience. From then on the show is hers and as an audience, we are treated to a bravura performance worthy of the greatest Broadway stars.

Gemma Sutton & Caroline O'Connor

Playing her estranged daughter, Angel, Gemma Sutton is the perfect match and brings a tenderness, coupled with an unquestionable strength to the role. Her many musical numbers are delivered with certain confidence and emotional maturity, especially Coloured Lights that closes the first act. Duetting with Caroline O’Connor in The Apple Doesn’t Fall, you could almost smell the pot, as mother and daughter became silly, reflective and funny under the influence - absolutely brilliant fun!

Completing this perfect production is the six all-male ensemble (Stewart Clarke, Ross Dawes, Michael Lin, Elander Moore, Ben Redfern, Jason Winter) that play the other parts, from Anna’s ex-husband and Angel’s father, Lenny, Anna’s long-term admirer, to the demolition crew charged with clearing the redundant roller rink and unearthing memories along the way that trigger flashbacks that drive Terence McNally’s funny and emotional book.

Special mention must be given to choreographer, Fabian Aloise, who achieves a genuinely show-stopping moment in getting the demolition crew to tap dance on roller-skates – pure magical razzamatazz!

Michael Lin, Ross Dawes, Jason Winter

Directed with an evident passion for the musical theatre by Adam Lenson, The Rink is, without doubt, a stunning production that deserves to be seen by the broadest audience and only hope (and  pray) that a West End home can be found soon.

In the meantime, get your skates on quick, don’t miss this superlative show and head down to Southwark Playhouse - I’ve booked for two more visits already!

The Rink plays at Southwark Playhouse until 23 June 2018


Caroline O’Connor
Gemma Sutton

Stewart Clarke
Ross Dawes
Michael Lin
Elander Moore
Ben Redfern
Jason Winter
Creative Team
Adam Lenson
Fabian Aloise
Musical Director
Joe Bunker
Set Designer
Bec Chippendale
Costume Designer
Libby Todd
Lighting Designer
Matt Daw
Sound Designer
Mike Thacker for Orbital Sound

Greg Arrowsmith
Casting Director
Jacob Sparrow