Theatre Review - The Little Big Things

Ed Larkin and Jonny Amies in The Little Big Things [Pamela Raith Photography]

BASED on a true story, Nick Butcher’s warm-hearted musical (lyrics co-written with Tom Ling, book by Joe White) follows Henry Fraser’s recovery after a life-changing injury leaves him paralysed from the shoulders down.

Jonny Amies plays the 17-year-old talented rugby player who goes on holiday with his brothers and hits his head while diving into the sea. Wheelchair-user Ed Larkin takes on the role post-accident. The two actors remain on stage together as older Henry comes to term with his injuries and forges a new life.

Inspired by Henry’s bestselling memoir, The Little Big Things is about one man’s triumph over adversity and the healing power of family. With help from his physiotherapist (Amy Trigg, superb) another wheelchair user, Henry manages to leave hospital earlier than predicted.

The emotional support of his parents (Linzi Hateley and Alasdair Harvey) and encouragement from his three brothers, (Jordan Benjamin, Jamie Chatterton, Clever September) sustain Henry, who reinvents himself as a mouth artist and motivational speaker.

The songs are generally upbeat and heartfelt but some tend towards the mawkish. However, Luke Sheppard’s dynamic staging and strong performances give the show an exuberance that’s hard not to embrace.

Orignally published by Westminster Extra

Until November 25