As Strat in Bat Out Of Hell, Andrew Polec is an incredible find. His scrawny, pale build and unkempt hair hide a voice that is perfectly suited to Steinman’s incredible score. Quite where that voice comes from I shall never know but he delivers a flawless performance with a vocal dexterity that I’ve seldom scene in any rock musical
Timothy Sheader’s utterly astonishing, profoundly beautiful, and intensely gripping production of To Kill A Mockngbird, is now playing at the Barbican Theatre. It’s not practically perfect in every way – it is absolutely perfect in every way. In terms of glorious story-telling and superb ensemble acting rapturously telling a richly detailed and extraordinarily resonant – but sublimely simple – tale, there is nothing to touch this production (bar Gypsy) currently playing in London.
Betts’ adaptation (re-imagining is perhaps more accurate) certainly tries to evoke the same effect Chekhov must have had on his original audiences. There is a robust modernity about the language which makes the situations and characters instantly understandable, relatable and recognisable. This comes at a real cost to the lyricism that Chekhov penned, but, in the end, the clarity of the understanding is worth it. For some, no doubt, the text will be too coarse, too vulgar – but it distils the essence of Chekhov’s intent in a coherent and tangible way.