Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York) is a brand-new musical by Jim Barne & Kit Buchan. The production centres around Dougal (Sam Tutty), a young man who has flown to New York City for his father’s wedding, the father he has never met, and Robin (Dujonna Gift) the sister of the bride-to-be, who has been sent to pick up Dougal from the airport. The production incorporates romantic comedy tropes throughout, focusing on these two normal, everyday people.

Credit: Marc Brenner

The character work within the script is brilliant, and the duo bring them to life wonderfully. Tutty’s Dougal is energetic, excitable, and endearing, and Gift’s Robin is a realist, a woman who’s over the hype of NYC, and has a sarcastic edge to her. Their vocals are stunning throughout, and both voices work very well together. Some dialogue within the script feels a bit clunky, and it’s not always quite believable that people speak like that. Some humorous lines are peppered throughout, most of which land. Some aspects of the storyline are unclear, for instance, I’m unsure what happened with Robin and her grandmother. Also, the overall tone seems to be slightly confused, I was left wondering what genre the show fit into by the end.

Soutra Gilmour’s set is dynamic and inventive, with so many hidden parts which transform into different locations. The set is a revolve and this helps with transitions between the scenes. The decision to include an interval does hinder the pace of the show somewhat, and some of the scenes are a bit too lengthy – a good chunk could be cut off the first Act.

Credit: Marc Brenner

The songs are varied and catchy, with some funny lyrics. The number in which Dougal helps Robin on Tinder is a fun, timely and relatable song. The band is small but mighty, although I would love to see the show with a slightly larger band to create a fuller sound, I feel this would give the score more of a show-stopping musical theatre sound.

Despite some of my minor gripes, all in all, it’s a cute show, albeit slightly cheesy. With some brilliant performances and great songs, it’s definitely a show worth watching, and there’s a lot of potential here, but some fine-tuning is needed to determine the theme of the show. It’s a perfect show for this time of year, with a festive and heartwarming feel to it. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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