This was billed as “Britain’s next big musical” – unfortunately it isn’t.
Set in Bosnia over a number of years we were told stories of revolution, romance and war. But it all got confusing – there was projected video at the back but often it wasn’t noticed and when you were aware of it it was too small to work out what was going on (the bridge blowing up for example). This lead to us watching people with names we were unsure of talking about and doing other things which weren’t clear or just seemed completely random (e.g. the diving).
I have to say that the singing was generally excellent, especially from the men who had some really high full-voice requirements. What let the show down though was a lot of really bad, amateur acting – it seems strange to have well-trained singers who don’t know how to even stand still. Some scenes got slightly slow unfortunately and Adela’s clothing seemed completely out of place (sexy jeans/busty top).
Musically there was nothing memorable or even that tuneful; I have to say though that the violinst was excellent and a joy to listen to.
Perhaps this show has a future but it needs a lot of reshaping and development work.
Review by Alan
Paradise in Augustine’s
4-27 August (not 13, 20)