Playing in They're Playing Our Song

Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Dateline: 3rd March, 2013

The other side of them

Based on the real life relationship between songwriters Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager, They're Playing Our Song is a musical comedy that charts the rocky road of sharing both love and work for characters Vernon and Sonia.

In the Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch, production of this hit show, real life partners Dan de Cruz and Sarah Mahony play the seemingly incompatible pair: wisecracking award–winning composer Vernon is uptight and orderly whilst kooky Sonia is a tender–hearted scatterbrain not yet over her break up with lover Leon.

So what is it like working on this show with your partner I asked them both?

"We’ve managed to establish a good work/home balance and it helps to be able to run lines on the way to rehearsals in the car and" admits Dan "there was no awkward “first kiss” moment!"

I have to resist over–egging the idea of life imitating art when Dan's approach, whilst acknowledging it was fun, comes over as essentially pragmatic and Sarah's seems heart–led, about the two of them being together in a profession where work often requires them to live apart.

Except from a shared musical talent, Sarah doesn't think Vernon and Dan are similar at all—although Dan recognises something in how Vernon likes to define himself through his actions—but they both see something of Sarah in Sonia.

Sonia, says Sarah, is someone with whom a lot of women will identify: "She tries hard for others’ approval… feels a lot of responsibility for people she cares about and puts pressure on herself to keep everyone happy", though as to what the two of them share she is clear: "Sonia is creative and very theatrical, fun-loving and quite impulsive, which I guess I am too!"

Dan picks up on a line in the show when comparing their characters: "At one point Vernon describes Sonia as having “an incredible energy that’s impossible to resist” and that’s a perfect description of Sarah."

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