Valentine's Day

Previewed 7 September 1992, Opened 17 September 1992, Closed 10 October 1992 at the Globe Theatre (now Gielgud Theatre)

The new Denis King and Benny Green musical Valentine's Day in London starring Edward Petherbridge

The Clandon family return to Englnd after several years abroad to stay at the Marine Hotel in Torquay, where William the head waiter reigns supreme. Gloria, one of the three Clandon children, is pursued by and falls in love with Valentine, a penniless dentist. Will the lovers marry?

Based on George Bernard Shaw's You Never Can Tell, this is an enchanting, romantic story of Twentieth Century Womman and Victorian Man.

Musical with music by Denis King, lyrics by Benny Green, and book by Benny Green and David William, adapted from the play You Never Can Tell by George Bernard Shaw.

The cast featured Alexander Hanson as 'Mr Valentine', Edward Petherbridge as 'William, the Waiter', John Berlyne as 'Walter Bohun QC', Elizabeth Counsell as 'Mrs Clandon', Teresa Banham as 'Gloria Clandon', Nicky Adams as 'Dolly Clandon', Robert Hands as 'Philip Clandon', John Turner as 'Fergus Crampton', Edward de Souza as 'Finch McComus', Rebecca Knight as 'Millicent', Louise Tomkins as 'Maisie', Alexandra Worrall as 'Mabel', Eileen Battye, John Berlyne, Amanda Dainty, Patrick Jamieson, Dean Viner, John Waldon, and Michael Wyeth.

Directed and choreographed by Gillian Lynne, with designs by Paul Farnsworth, lighting by Nick Richings, and sound by Richard Tyan.

George Bernard Shaw's other London theatre plays include You Never Can Tell, Saint Joan, Pygmalion (adapted in the musical My Fair Lady), and Mrs Warren's Profession.

This production was originally seen at the Chichester Festival Theatre's Minerva Studio in West Sussex - previewed from 8 August 1991, opened on 13 August 1991, and closed on 21 September 1991 (in repertory) - when the cast featured Steven Pacey as 'Mr Valentine', Edward Petherbridge as 'William, the Waiter', John Berlyne as 'Walter Bohun QC', Judy Parfitt as 'Mrs Clandon', Fiona Fullerton as 'Gloria Clandon', Gemma Lowy as 'Dolly Clandon', Robert Hands as 'Philip Clandon', Jonathan Adams as 'Mr Crampton', Jonathan Elsom as 'Finch McComus', Ruthie Henshall as 'Mabel', and Helen Way as 'Maisie', with either Lucy Hammer and Zillah West, or Ruth Paton and Tina Martindale.

"You Never Can Tell was one of Shaw's plays pleasant, a wryly ironic send-up of the English class system couched in the terms of romantic comedy. Valentine's Day is a musical comedy version created by Benny Green and Denis King for last year's Chichester Festival Theatre season, where its pretty but unremarkable tunes, its restraint and its Englishness perfectly suited the playgoing palate. In the West End, it looks rather thin and demure - neatly directed, sweetly costumed and impeccably acted, but without the chutzpah to send you humming off along Shaftesbury Avenue... But underlying the aesthetic problem is a conceptual one: by dressing the play up as an elegant period piece, it misses the tetchiness of Shaw's social criticism which, in You Never Can Tell, deliberately plays against the romantic form." The Guardian

"The new musical Valentine's Day at London's Globe Theatre opens in a dentist's surgery, which proves a bad omen. A lot of what follows is as painful as pulling teeth. Fortunately for some in the audience the soppy songs in Benny Green's reworking of George Bernard Shaw's 100-year-old romantic comedy You Never Can Tell act as an anaesthetic and they are put out of their misery long before the interval. This is music to nod off too... Only Edward Petherbridge shines as a butler serving up some of Shaw's witty observations on life. You never can tell with musicals of course but another My Fair Lady? Not bloody likely!" The Daily Mirror

"The story may be thin to the point of invisibility, but the characters are lively in their artificial Shavian way, the dialogue fizzes along nicely, and the songs don't cause offence... Among the cast, Edward Petherbridge fares best as the hotel waiter William, capturing the character's ingratiating deference with his own distinctive brand of melancholy charm. He hasn't got much of a voice, but his delightfully solemn song-and-dance number is one of the evening's few real pleasures. Nicky Adams and Robert Hands are authentically infuriating as Shaw's horribly precocious teenage twins, but Alexander Hanson and Teresa Banham make colourless lovers, and too many comic chances are squandered in the supporting roles. This relentlessly cheerful show is easy on the eye and painless on the ear, but its fitful moments of charm are inadequate compensation for the sterility that lies at its heart." The Daily Telegraph

Valentine's Day in London at the Globe Theatre previewed from 7 September 1992, opened on 17 September 1992, and closed on 10 October 1992