I went to see this in the preview week before the press night and usually it is quite a quiet affair. This was surprisingly busy and the place looked packed with the “home counties” crowd.
It is the story of silent movie star Norma Desmond, played to perfection in a powerful performance by Kathryn Evans, and her infatuation with a young writer called Joe Gillis, played by Ben Goddard. The cast did a very good job making it seem quite believable even though they had to run off to play the flute, bass etc in the middle of a conversation.
This is the first musical I have seen which is done in Orchestration (I think that is what you call it) where there isn’t an orchestra but the whole cast plays at least one instrument as well acting/ singing their part. It looked very chaotic and was really confusing to for the first hour. At times, it made the stage really cluttered and you could easily lose the plot.
The staging I thought was a bit odd as this is not a big theatre and to do it like this made it too busy. I am just a regular punter and know nothing about theatre production so my opinions are from an audience’s point of view. In addition to that, I thought it was all too dark and gothic. Sarah Travis did the arrangement for this and the director is Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood.
I was a bit sceptical before I went as I was not sure how this would translate to the stage but I enjoyed this production of Sunset Boulevard, which was much more entertaining than Treasure Island.
Until April 18
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