There is a huge hype around this show (which is closing in February 2016) and we here at Pocket Size Theatre hadn’t gotten the chance to see it yet, until we were invited by the new theatre ticketing app TodayTix. Click here for a £10 voucher for the app!
The show is stunning, I wasn’t expecting to be so impressed with it but it had so much heart and passion within it. A modern adaptation of the Opera Madame Butterfly, the story is epic. It pulls you in a doesn’t let go until the curtain falls at the end.
The score has been written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg of Les Miserables fame, and I must say I thought this score had much more structure to it. I felt like as a piece it moved easier and the orchestration was so beautiful that I could have listened to it all day. The only thing I would say is that I am not fond on the new song that has been written for the character of Ellen, the song ‘Maybe’ just doesn’t seem to give Ellen any drive and to me doesn’t fill the hole needed in that character.
This production is slick and tight, no sloppiness from this cast! From the performances that were given you would have thought it was their opening night.
Jon Jon Briones plays the Engineer in the production and he is phenomenal. His performance is all about including the audience and we love it! He has perfected his performance over the years and performing it in this West End revival is the perfect showcase for that. The only thing I wanted was to be left a little creeped
out by the character, I wished I saw a little more of a frightening side to him in the beginning but I respect Briones portrayal. He is magnificent in the show.
Eva Noblezada performs way beyond her years, her voice is just stunning and she was just heart breaking. She showed innocence and vulnerability but with a strong front and it was just everything that the audience needed to fall in love with her. Her vocals were absolutely top notch and that of a true West End leading lady. I am appalled that she wasn’t acknowledged by the Olivier Awards.
Chris Peluso and Siobhan Dillon, who play Chris and Ellen, were off the night we attended. In their place was Richard Carson and Natalie Chua.
Richard Carson just seemed like the perfect choice for Chris, physically and vocally he just got it completely. His vocals were similar to that of Robert Lonsdale (Private Prewitt in the Original cast of From Here to Eternity) but even with quite a modern tone to his voice he managed to still hold onto that classic sound. A fantastic performance from a performer I hope to see more from.
Natalie Chua was fantastic as Ellen, its a role that doesn’t have much to play with in terms of material but she has a powerhouse voice and played the role with a motherly quality that meant we were also on her side as well as Kims.
We must give credit to the ensemble of the show who really pulled everything together, they were all you would want to ask for in a West End ensemble.
If you haven’t seen this show then you need to book tickets fast because it is closing in February 2016! This musical is gorgeous and will steal your heart. Absolutely sensational.
Review by Mark Swale
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