This year marks the 60th anniversary of the formation of the most iconic folk-duo of all time, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. The duo met in New York City, where they both grew up and became good friends. In 1957, they formed a musical pairing, and they called themselves Tom and Jerry. The show takes us on a journey from their very beginning, through to their global success, and on to their eventual split and their solo careers.
The set-up of the stage is simple, in that the two actors playing Simon and Garfunkel take centre stage and talk and sing us through their story, complete with a lively band, and their energy is superb. Both performers give an accurate and a cool and calm performance. Before each song, they tell us where the artists where at, what they were up to and how their albums were critically acclaimed and received at the time of release. The show takes us through some of their most iconic songs, including the likes of the uber-catchy Cecila, to the hauntingly epic Sound of Silence and their classic Mrs Robinson, to name but a few. It is sometimes easy to forget just how big they were. At one point in their career, they were outselling the likes of The Beatles and Elvis. Yes, they really were that huge.
The show focuses on their album and single releases (rather than their personal life) and gives us a few fun facts. Who knew that Homeward Bound was written in Widnes, by Paul Simon, as he awaited a train to take him to London, during a solo tour of the UK? There is a proud plaque on Widnes train station which celebrates this fact. They achieved the peak of the popularity with the enormous success of Bridge Over Troubled Water. This success however led to a strain on them both, and they were exhausted within the whirlwind that it brought along. Some say this pressure forced them to split, as they sought a break from the madness of it all. There is however, no exact or specified time as to when this officially happened. It seemed more like a drifting apart of two people who had spent an intense period of their lives together. They both went on to release some excellent solo work, with Paul Simon’s Graceland album considered to be one of the best albums ever released.
The Simon and Garfunkel Story is a must-see for all fans of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.
Cast: Sam O’Hanlon and Charles Blyth. Directors: David Beck and Dean Elliott. Theatre: Lyric Theatre. Performance Dates: 4th September, 2nd October, 6th November and 4th December 2017.