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.
Twelfth Night: Not available. Professional reviewers find this a bit of
an unnecessary "cross-casting" with Malvolio as Malvolia. That aside, it's funny
enough, they agree, but the odd timeless period setting and other shifts in
gender seem to detract rather than add to the piece. The acting is fine, the
text comes across as lively as ever, but it isn't quite the hysterical fun it
tries hard to be. There's praise for the set - and final scene - but the feeling
the monkey got from the reviews is that this is a good try rather than a great
Salome: Not available.
Common: Not available.