Unlikely to be Homeward Bound

The two actors performing as Simon and Garfunkel
The two actors performing as Simon and Garfunkel

The Simon and Garfunkel Story, one night only. Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, January 16.

A sell-out audience of fans packed the Belgrade for this evening of great, great songs, although perhaps not quite as much story as I would have personally liked.

Actors Dean Elliott, who played Paul, and Jonny Smart (Art), are on a national tour and have already spent months mimicking each other’s every vowel sound to become pitch perfect in their recreations of Feelin’ Groovy, Old Friends, Sound of Silence and dozens more.

As the decades roll by there are also visual images projected onto the back of the stage reminding us of iconic figures, marches, protests, advertisements and endless shots of the schoolboy friends who had their first hit at the age of 16.

That was Hey Schoolgirl and if you haven’’t heard it that’s hardly surprising. The Everly Brothers’ influenced teenagers performed under the names of Tom and Jerry because their recording studio thought their real names were too Jewish.

Robert Zimmerman, better known as Bob Dylan, had the same problem.

I loved the way both men emulated the physical movements of the two stars.

Dean had Paul Simon’s hip dance style and high-armed guitar playing and Jonny spent most of his time with his thumbs stuck into the pockets of his blue jeans with the slightly stooped more static body of the taller singer.

The pair made us wait for Bridge Over Troubled Water – not my favourite anyway – and The Boxer, which is. But they packed in so much accomplished music, supported by an excellent backing band that nobody really minded.

Most of all they seemed to genuinely enjoy what they were doing, getting the audience involved at every opportunity and were seemingly overwhelmed by the warmth of their Coventry welcome.

Neither will be Homeward Bound for a while yet. They’re heading for the West End amid a series of other dates.

Pity this was a one night stand.

Rating 8