I first thought The Distance You Have Come referred to the off-off-off West End location of The Cockpit in an ill-lit side street between Marylebone and Paddington stations – although it is a venue for which I have a distinct fondness, having cut my performing teeth there in the eighties in everything from Kennedy’s Children to Cowardy Custard.

Undoubtedly London has an appetite for the well-crafted song cycle revolving around relationships and the damage they can do us. It’s called Company and you’ll find it at the Gielgud Theatre, possibly for ever.

Nobody expects a new(ish) writer to be instantly Sondheim but Scott Alan is a musical theatre performer’s go-to composer, evidenced by his cast of super popular leading actors like Andy Coxon, Jodie Jacobs and Dean-John Wilson (whose girlfriend Cynthia Erivo made a complete album of Scott Alan songs) so it’s hard to know why more producers haven’t taken a punt on his work.

He had a great idea for an episodic story called Piece about an old lady he knew who sat outside the local 7-11 writing poems and graded them into three sections of her life. ‘Home’, sung by gay fathers-to-be Andy Coxon and Adrian Hansel to a cot-size cellular blanket, comes from it.

Here, though, despite a sweet leafy set and some busy lighting cues, stripped of any narrative plot on which to hang it the song cycle has the life of a mayfly – over and forgotten in the same day.

Among the performers, Jodie Jacobs is the best of the best, partly because of her confident experience with a wide variety of material, but also because she gets the odd number you can render with a sense of humour.  Most of the rest are earnestly repetitious, with one sad introspective ballad after another.  There’s a warning notice on the auditorium doors that the material contains themes of alcoholism and depression.

It’s packaged as a new compilation, and for sure Alan now has eight albums to raid for the material whereas in 2010 when the show with the same name was performed at what’s now Charing Cross Theatre, I think there were only two.

But that just proves how short is the distance we have come.

until 28 October