CHICHESTER

There is combustible chemistry between Joanna Riding’s feisty union rep and Hadley Fraser as the factory superintendent who sacks her for agitation, and the pair are in terrific form in the almost insanely exuberant, country-and western love duet, There Once Was A Man. (Telegraph)

Joanna Riding's bewitchingly bolshie-yet-sensitive Babe Williams, head of the Union's Grievance Committee. (Independent)

Fraser and Riding sing strongly and produce convincing sparks of mutual attraction and are buoyed by a host of finely tuned supporting turns.(Standard)

Joanna Riding and Hadley Fraser as the leads also display the edginess of a couple whose romantic aspirations are shadowed by pay-deals and go-slows (Guardian)

There’s also a heart-tugging romance between a factory activist and middle executive, terrifically played respectively by Joanna Riding and Hadley Fraser.(The Stage)

As Babe, Riding has the sassy attitude and husky growl that would bring many men to their knees and Fraser is her equal, a half-grown man whose ambition nearly outweighs his passion.(The Express)

Joanna Riding is perfect casting as the spirited and independently-minded Babe. She brims with the self-confidence of someone in complete professional control – able to see through the grasping claims of a lazy chancer – but also brings a layered nuance to her emotional life, bemused at the prospect of a romance, delightfully exuberant when it comes to pass and yet firmly in control of how the relationship will progress, regardless of the sizzling chemistry. And she does connect extremely well with Hadley Fraser’s Sid, a goofily handsome presence but one imbued with a rich sense of yearning by his remarkable voice and together they make a couple that one simply cannot help but root for. (Public reviews - Ian Foster)

Hadley Fraser is Superintendent Sid, with a strong, powerful singing voice which fills the small Minerva Theatre, and when he meets the feisty independent Babe—superbly portrayed by Joanna Riding—the Union Rep, they instantly fall in love, but then the workers down tools and they are on opposite sides. Can they ever get together? British Theatre Guide)

LONDON

Riding and Xavier are deeply affecting - Express

Michael Xavier as Sid is new to the production and his abrasive charm is well matched by Joanna Riding's mix of gritty determination and good nature as the passionate Babe - Telegraph

Joanna Riding is in fine form as leading lady Babe Williams, she shines with a youthful vibrancy that makes her look and feel years younger. A delight to see her back where she really belongs! - Public reviews

As gorgeously played by Joanna Riding and Michael Xavier (replacing Chichester's Hadley Fraser), they are a sparky match for each other in muscle as well as music; they both have great tone in every sense - London theatre

Michael Xavier as Sid is new to the production and his abrasive charm is well matched by Joanna Riding's mix of gritty determination and good nature as the passionate Babe - The Guardian

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VIDEO LINKS

Have a look at footage and perfomances by the 2014 cast
Pajama Game trailer
West End Live 2014
Olivier Awards 2014 - outside entertainment
West end Trailer
Hey There - special performance (audio only)
The Pajama Game channel

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