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This Is London - 8th February 2018

18 The London cast of

18 The London cast of Kinky Boots. KINKY BOOTS CELEBRATES ITS 1000TH PERFORMANCE Kinky Boots, the winner of every major Best Musical award, has recently celebrated its1000th performance and has now received its 1,000,000 th customer in the West End. The production has also announced the opening of a new booking period, with tickets now available until 30 June. Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre has become a favourite with UK theatregoers having won three Olivier Awards for Best New Musical, Best Costume Design and Best Actor in a Musical for Matt Henry who previously played Lola. Kinky Boots also won the London Evening Standard BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical as well as three WhatsOnStage Awards. Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price (David Hunter) is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola (Simon- Anthony Rhoden), a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos. For tickets, telephone 020 7087 7754. Photo by Matt Crockett JOHN Dorfman until 3 March If Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker’s latest play to cross the Atlantic had been condensed into half the time, I’d probably feel rather differently about it. There are many moments to cherish, but, running at well over three hours (including an unexpected interlude and a couple of intervals) the ticking of the grandfather clock in Chloe Lamford’s meticulously detailed set felt (too frequently for this reviewer at least) like an unwelcome reminder of the deliberately leisurely pace of James Macdonald’s finely acted production. Like her critically acclaimed The Flick (which played at the National in 2016), John takes things slowly – very slowly. A little old lady in rust coloured clothes (American actress Marylouise Burke’s Mertis) takes her time drawing back vast red curtains to reveal the interior of her Gettysburg B&B where every available space – including the stairs – is covered in dolls and ornaments, and a kitchen area is bizarrely labelled ‘Paris’ Her new guests, arriving for a weekend soon after Thanksgiving, are young couple Jenny and Elias (Anneika Rose and Tom Mothersdale) who can soon be heard bickering overhead in their under-heated room. He’s a computer programmer who wants to be a drummer, a Gettysburg geek intent on seeing the site of the famous civil battle. She compiles questions for a TV game show and keeps on getting texts. As their stay progresses and the house becomes colder, the cracks in their relationship widen. Eccentric, quietly fussing Mertis speaks lovingly of a husband who is never seen (and may or may not even exist) and her blind friend Genevieve (June Watson) talks of going mad and believing that her soul is possessed by her own ex. The fairy lights on the seasonal tree flicker for no apparent reason, the piano has a life of its own and Jenny has a penchant for ghost stories in a play which is more about atmosphere than event and which (perhaps depending on one’s temperament) is likely to either enthral or frustrate. Louise Kingsley Marylouise Burke as Mertis, Tom Mothersdale as Elias and Anneika Rose as Jenny. Stephen Cummiskey t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e

AMADEUS National Theatre Antonio Salieri. Clever and musical. Court composer to Joseph II of Austria. Intensely ambitious, yet somehow old, dull and unattractive – this man is the main stumbling block in what should have been the stratospheric success of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Now that Mozart’s sublime music is almost universally acclaimed – whilst that of Salieri is forgotten – it is hard to Lucian Msamati – Antonio Salieri. understand how any such rivalry could have budded, bloomed and ultimately static faces frozen into attitudes of strangled its human target. Peter distaste and drooping hand gestures Schaffer’s play – first staged in 1979 – clothed in silk damask. The costumes quickens that struggle so that we can are strikingly lovely. look on and be amazed. Contrast these pompous fools – who Of course Mozart was a child prodigy, are largely impermeable to the musical paraded around Europe by his father from brilliance of Mozart – with the energy a very young age, to be admired by and brash good looks of Mozart and his princes and noblemen. Much of the young wife, Konstanze Weber (Adelle evening’s humour derives from the Leonce) who shares Mozart’s vulgarity, musical genius’s lack of emotional expressed in her mild Cockney twang maturity – his alarming bounciness, his and sexual cavorting. What did scatological jokes and alarmingly shrill Konstanze see in her husband? Shaffer laughter. Adam Gillen’s portrayal revels in expresses so brilliantly in these this schoolboy vulgarity – his grimaces relationships the dilemma of genius – and goofy cavorting go well with his heaven in a page of notes, hell in the yellow curly hair and garish clothing. real world of commissions, pupils, Meanwhile Lucian Msamati is both old rivalries, fame, money – or no money. Salieri, close to death in his old Bath In the end, the drama comes full chair, and mature Salieri, who is secretly circle. Salieri’s inner conflict does not appalled by the arrival of Mozart in make our hearts bleed. He brings it upon Vienna. Each new musical testament to himself. It is Mozart, the still childish Mozart’s brilliance is felt by Salieri as a composer, who is sick and starving in sort of agony – to see Msamati’s face twist his garret, scribbling the notes to a and his body writhe you could imagine Requiem we now associate with his own his own child was being murdered. death. And what a Requiem! All we can feel, of course, is the Jemma Court sublimely uplifting harmonies as played on stage by the Southbank Sinfonia (many of whom seem to be accomplished actors as well as musicians.) It will make you think you should go to the concert hall more often and really listen to Mozart. Meanwhile the physicality of many performers provides light relief. Msamati is dreadfully ugly, so it is hardly surprising if his Salieri has little success in the seductive arts. Matthew Spencer as Joseph II is surrounded by foppish courtiers who enact disdain via silly, ROBERT SMITH CURATES 25th YEAR OF MELTDOWN Announced this week as the curator of its 25th Meltdown festival: The Cure’s Robert Smith promises a line-up of unique performances in the intimate and iconic Southbank Centre settings from 15-24 June. He will follow in the footsteps of 24 legendary artists selected to share their vision as curators of Meltdown, from the very first curator, British composer George Benjamin in 1993, though other luminaries such as John Peel, David Bowie, Nick Cave, Patti Smith, Massive Attack, Ray Davies, Yoko Ono and David Byrne to the most recent curator, M.I.A in 2017. Robert Smith is the lead singer, guitarist, lyricist and principal songwriter of The Cure, and its only constant member since the group’s formation in 1978. One of popular music’s defining bands and an international phenomenon, The Cure’s path to commercial success took the Alternative Rock genre mainstream around the world. The band has influenced the history of music and wider popular culture over a staggeringly successful 40-year career. t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e A scene from Amadeus. Marc Brenner. 19

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