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‘Aspects of Love’ Review: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Torpid, Semi-Forgotten Musical Gets an Unconvincing West End Revival
David Benedict “Will someone kindly tell me what on Earth has happened?” Well, quite. That’s the that line Michael Ball’s George sings when surveying the absurdity before him, including the body of his passed-out partner Rose (Laura Pitt-Pulford) who has just been shot by his jealous nephew Alec (Jamie Bogyo). Judging by the unexpected laughter that greeted it on opening night, others are framing his question more widely while witnessing this revival — that’s not the right term — of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1989 musical “Aspects of Love.” For that scene and the whole queasy, quasi-romantic story to work, you need emotional truth. But despite the cast’s sincere efforts there is scarcely a speck of that for them to work with. In the sung-through score (no bookwriter is credited; the text is the work of lyricists Don Black and Charles Hart) they are left to sing rambling expository dialogue at one another and emote, giving audiences little to connect with. Lloyd Webber can and does lace lines from the show’s two big tunes, “Love Changes Everything” and “Seeing Is Believing,” through his score all night, but it doesn’t compensate for the lack of believable drama. And that’s before you get to the sexual politics.