Original Cast

By Jeeves -The Alan Ayckbourn and Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical

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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn's musical adaptation of the Jeeves stories of P.G. Wodehouse began life as a failed musical called Jeeves in London in 1975. It was revised and remounted 20 years later with greater success as By Jeeves, opening (or reopening) in London on July 2, 1996. This time around, the show was scaled down considerably, and the score, which still included the songs "Travel Hopefully," "When Love Arrives," "Half a Moment," and "Banjo Boy" from Jeeves, was being played on only a handful of instruments and modestly sung by the small cast. The cast seems even smaller than it is most of the time, in fact, because the show consists for the most part of a dialogue between manservant Jeeves (Malcolm Sinclair) and his dim-witted master Bertie Wooster (Steven Pacey). The album contains 26 tracks, but only 14 of them have music; the other 12 are spoken-word sections in which the hopelessly complicated plot (much too much for Wooster to follow, and for the listener as well) is discussed endlessly as a succession of false identities, mixed up romantic entanglements, and other embarrassments. In the songs, Lloyd Webber clearly is drawing upon the work of 1920s and '30s show music composers; "That Was Nearly Us," for example, is dangerously similar to Rodgers & Hart's 1932 song "Isn't It Romantic?" The stupid, disengaged character of Wooster is a thin one to hang a show on, and Jeeves is too restrained to carry things. Lovers of the Wodehouse books may find the results enjoyable, but to musical theater fans this is decidedly minor Lloyd Webber.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 00:55 Amazon
2 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 04:01 Amazon
3 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 03:08 Amazon
4 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 03:04 Amazon
5 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 01:35 Amazon
6 Nicholas Haverson / Steven Pacey 01:08 Amazon
7 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 00:40 Amazon
8 Steven Pacey / Lucy Tregear 03:47 Amazon
9 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 02:47 Amazon
10 Steven Pacey / Cathy Sara 03:24 Amazon
11 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 01:19 Amazon
12 Nicolas Colicos / Simon Day / Steven Pacey 03:09 Amazon
13 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 01:31 Amazon
14 Simon Day / Nicholas Haverson / Steven Pacey 03:18 Amazon
15 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 01:19 Amazon
16 Diana Morrison / Steven Pacey 03:00 Amazon
17 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 00:24 Amazon
18 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 02:13 Amazon
19 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 00:58 Amazon
20 Harold Fisher / Richard Long / Cathy Sara 03:42 Amazon
21 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 02:07 Amazon
22 Simon Day / Diana Morrison / Steven Pacey / Lucy Tregear 03:05 Amazon
23 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 02:10 Amazon
24 Steven Pacey 02:44 Amazon
25 04:03 Amazon
26 Steven Pacey / Malcolm Sinclair 00:08 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick