Hadestown - Greasepaint and stage Lights - Musicals

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Hadestown
West End
(Review Complete)

REVIEW:
 Greek myths have inspired many theatrical works over the years, some more successfully that others.

This latest offering - a combination of the Orpheus and Euridice myth and the Hades and Persephone myth - has been quite a long time coming.

Originally a DIY community project in 2006, it has gradually grown via a concept album, a production in Canada, the National Theatre and Broadway, where it won 8 Tony awards including Best Musical.

And so it is finally here, opening in the West End.  Having attended the launch back in November I had some idea of what to expect.

The music was a brilliant mix of jazz, blues and country with a little modern classical in some of the quieter moments. I loved it! However, seeing the whole piece with costumes, lighting, set and a full band is much more powerful than I had ever imagined!

The whole piece is set in a kind of timeless, dystopian bar and the performances are breathtaking! Donal Finn as the orphan poet Orpheus plays his own guitar and drifts magically in and out of his beautiful falsetto voice. Grace Hodgett Young’s Euridice had strength and depth and Gloria Onitiri bought a different side to Persephone as we see how her relationship with Hades has developed over the years.

Hades is brilliantly played by Zachary James who has the most incredible bass voice! It rumbles around the auditorium and you can almost feel it as much as hear it! The three Fates acting as a Greek chorus commenting on the action throughout are absolutely wonderful. Their movements and complex harmony singing are breathtaking and Melanie La Barrie playing Hermes handles the almost completely silent opening  going into The Road To Hell brilliantly! The set works extremely well with the band on stage, two revolves and a platform that brings people up and down from Hell.

If I have any minor comment it is that the story telling could have been tighter. It is a long show for what is a reasonably short story. However this didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the show in any way.

Hadestown is a great evening out so if you can get to see it, you will not be disappointed! This is definitely a 5 star show!
 


Reviewer: Julia Rufey & Alastair Woodgate
Greasepaint and Stage Lights

Email: musicals@btinternet.com
website: www.greasepaintandstagelights.co.uk
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