Amadeus: (seen at the afternoon performance on 8th November 2016).
To use the (modern dress) Southbank Sinfonia is to take this
production to a new and even more revealing level. The music can be heard at the
same 'live drama' level as the spoken word, a glorious fusion which must surely
have been the world in which the composers lived. Sparse elegance elsewhere -
pianos, a moving stage (the revolve comes into its own once again) and a few
chairs are all that are required for this murderous tale of eternity to play
If Lucian Msamati's (Salieri) diction is occasionally not the clearest, his
naked emotion is beautiful and terrible to behold,
his final scenes with his
victim something that would probably be banned for obscenity online, such is the
Adam Gillen (Mozart) is a child (neat costumes, particularly the shoes,
from Poppy Hall and team) yet ageless, man, boy but also genius with
eccentricities fewer than his prodigious talent. Shaffer manages to celebrate,
even as the focus isn't ever on him as the central character.
Excellent support from Venticelli Sarah Amankwah and Hammed Animashaun, and Tom
Edden as Joseph II. Other cast members also deserve plaudits as this is true
ensemble playing, with the integrated musicians sharing all credit.
Yes, it's "sell a kidney for" theatre. That is all the monkey feels anyone needs
Photo Credit: Marc Brenner, used by kind permission.
Peter Pan: Not available. Professional reviewers are somewhat divided.
Those who saw the amazing Regent's Park 2015 production will recognise the
visible flying device, but note that it doesn't work here, primarily due to the
grimy "Neverland" subsuming any semblance of magic or mystic. Playing with ages
and cross-casting further dulls things to "worthy" for some reviewers, though
others celebrate the play being made and the point being offered about growth
and development... though as a Christmas offering? Peter seems old, Hook is
female and those newspapers who like that sort of equality applaud it - the
conservative ones don't. Reasonably entertaining if willing to suspend not only
disbelief but also credulity at points, seems to be the verdict.
Twelfth Night: Not available.