For my part, it is as plain as a pike staff that the performers at hard work in this Parker, Lopez and Stone piece are, uniformly, at the top of their game and give more than 100% constantly. This production is far, far better than that original Broadway production.
Lesley Manville has never been better than she is here: brittle, desperate, trapped, her Helene Alving is a pulsing stream of artic lava, engulfing everyone around her. Her outward facade of high moral piousness eventually falls to reveal the broken tormented golem inside
Sir Tim describes the work as a grown-up musical: not sure what that means, but one cannot but think everyone would been better off if this piece was mature in tone and execution rather than “grown-up”.
It has to be said that, taking into account the whole experience, The Light Princess is no better or worse a musical than Viva Forever! In both cases, the book needs fundamental reworking, the score too, and there were avoidable casting issues – but each had/has real potential.
It is chock full of great musical classics and extremely well sung and performed. Indeed, the vocal work of Killian Donnelly as the lewd lout Deco is assured, spectacular and riveting: a true tour-de-force.
This is a wonderful night at the theatre, exhilarating and rewarding, and a portentous debut for Kinnear. It is a play which could play anywhere – and should. It has insightful and glorious things to say about love, parenting and family – and it is fiendishly funny to boot.
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