UKTW - 25 years online
CORONAVIRUS: All UK venues closed on 16th March 2020, restrictions were lifted on 19th July 2021. Please note that iUKTDb archive listings between March 2020 and July 2021 may not be accurate as we did not receive details of all rescheduled and cancelled shows.

Details

Napoleon archiveA musical biography of Napoleon Bonaparte, the vertically challenged Frenchman who created an empire through military cunning and sheer willpower before his forces were weakened by the Russian winter and then destroyed at Waterloo. Napoleon, who comes from a lowly background, crashes a lavish ball. He has come to press the Directors of the government for a command in the army. Then he meets the beautiful, alluring socialite Rose de Beauharnais... Napoleon unveils the passionate love story of Napoleon and Josephine (the name he gave Rose), his turbulent relationship with his patriotic brother, and a manipulative Prime Minister. Running time 2.5hrs Napoleon website.

Cast/Performers

Paul Baker (Napoleon), Anastasia Barzee (Josephine), Uwe Kroger (Napoleon - some dates), David Burt (Talleyrand), David Arneil, Steve Bradford, Jacqueline Braun, Lynsey Britton, Anthony Cable, Jody Crosier, Iain Davey, Heather Davies, Nicholas Dunbar, Chris Fennessy, Susie Fenwick, Hugh Futcher, Lydia Griffiths, Kristin Hellberg, Kristin Holck, Sarah Ingram, Teddy Kempner, Gerard Leighton, Roy Litvin, Andy Mace, Oliver Marshall, Anthony Moulton, Anita Pashley, Vince Pirillo, Nicholas Pound, Nigel Richards, Tom Sellwood, Louisa Shaw, Mark Stobbart

Creatives/Company

Book by(s): Andrew Sabiston, Timothy Williams
Lyrics: Andrew Sabiston
Music(s): Timothy Williams, Jonathan Tunick (orchestrations), Seann Alderking (musical supervision and arrangements)
Director(s): Francesca Zambello, David Charles Abell (music)
Design(s): Michael Yeargan, Jan Hartley (projection design)
Costume: Marie-Jeanne Lecca
Lighting: Rick Fisher
Sound: Martin Levan
Choreographer(s): Denni Sayers, David Leong (military choreography), Michael Ward (wigs and make-up)
Producer: Malmaison Productions Ltd

Napoleon

Napoleon (Musical) production archive for QTIX code T0342826168. Details of all Napoleon archived productions can be found under the QTIX code: S1183229450

Archive Listings

30 Sep 00
to
3 Feb 01
Shaftesbury Theatre
West End
Greater London

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User Reviews

USER (11Jan01): This was a satisfactory show but very obviously in it's early days. Wonderful staging, however the characters needed to be developed more. I came out of the show feeling I knew the evil polititan but was disappointed by the other perfomers. This show should grow over time but the music is sometimes too heavy - one big song after another. More humour scenes are needed to add to the enjoyment factor.
USER (11Jan01): The acting is honest. The songs are mesmerizing, emotional, and creative. The sets are magnificent. The directing is sincere and imaginative. The daunting musical is fantastically tackled and victory is achieved. Trust me, if you have any taste whatsoever, go see this musical. It is a jewel and hopefully will be around for years for audiences to enjoy. Napoleon is beautiful. Enough said.
USER (11Jan01): I saw Napoleon 4 times (3 previews and press-night) and I love it! I'll surely come again to London/UK to see it some more times! Great music, thrilling story, convincing and credible actors!
USER (11Jan01): I attended the first preview on Sept. 30 and was absolutely awed by this fabulous new musical. Three cheers for a very talented cast, a wonderful orchestra, beautiful costumes, and creative sets and lighting. I heartily recommend this production.
USER (11Jan01): I saw Naoleon in a preview performance and I have to say it is the worst musical I have ever seen. Paul Baker gives overacting a new name and the songs are unoriginal and completely forgettable. How it can be compared to wonderful Les Mis, I'll never know. The constant changing and moving set is annoying and the sound quality makes you strain to hear. In a word, AWFUL.
USER (11Jan01): One of the most visually stunning shows I have ever seen - the coronation scene and Waterloo have to be some of the best staging on the West-end ever!
USER (11Jan01): I am utterly shocked to see how many "5"s this show got. People either have never seen what a good musical looks like, or really, really wanted it to be good because of how much they paid for the tickets. The show simply tried to do too much covering 20 years, the lyrics often devolve into historical narative. Napoleon is made into a weak puppet of Talleyrand, and never are you given a reason to care about ANY of the characters. I bought the CD before seeing the show, which was a mistake, except that I can let people here how uninspired the music really is. The lyrics are mediocre, the musical accompaniment poor. And for whom would Napoleon "Tear the world apart"? Josephine? No apparently, for his "muse of war." The rest of the show is equally laughable, though the First Act (covering a much shorter period of time) is far better than the second. Even so, a significant number of people in the audience left at intermission. Save your money, and don't become one of those empty second-act seats.
USER (11Jan01): The best new musical in years. Paul Baker's Napoleon is surely deserving of an Olivier award. A epic, classy production throughout.
Ticketlinks (11Jan01): Well after all the rumours I finally managed to see Napoleon last night.. And if you liked "Les Mis" you WILL love it! It's a Great Show. Full of imagery, FABULOUS singing and wonderful performances from Paul Baker and Anastasia Barzee. Once word gets out this will be The Hot Ticket
USER (11Jan01): I have now seen Napoleon twice and have enjoyed it tremendously,however Imust say that I found Paul Baker's portrayal much more believable than that of Uwe Kroger Iam a regular visitor to the theatre in london and find it amazing that we should be expected to believe a German Speaking actor with a very strong and might I say camp accent playing the great french leader surely there are english actors enough to play these roles.The show is wonderful but does fail to impress without Mr Bakers performance.
USER (11Jan01): Obviously the British press were/are extremely biased regarding this fine work, as well as others of the genre. Captivating and riveting are the two words to describe Napoleon. A difficult story of a complex time, told as simply yet movingly as possible. Historically accurate, providing a wonderful background for the real crux of Napoleon's turmoil. Sympathetic to his softer side. This musical will develop the staying power of a major hit, despite the puerile wailings of a boored British press who seem insulted a show of this stature could be produced by two young writers from the "colonies."
USER (11Jan01): I saw this musical on the 30th September, and I just had to buy tickets for the matinee on the next Saturday. I bought the CD, and alll my friends want to buy a copy. I know all the songs now! When will the full soundtrack come out?! I have too see it again soon (I'm saving up) I've been to Malmaison and Bois Preau and I've read lots of books about Napoleon and Josephine. I was amazed at the detail put into the story. I hope Napoleon lasts as long as Les Mis (16 yrs
USER (11Jan01): I am convinced the critics saw a different musical to the one we saw. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
USER (11Jan01): Wonderful show. Far from forgettable, I found the songs going round in my mind constantly afterwards. The lyrics were exceptionally thoughtful and all the more clever for including attributed quotations from Napoleon. The final scenes were deply moving - don't forget to take tissues there wasn't a dry eye to be seen in the audience. Everyone knows how it ends at Waterloo but there is a satisfying poignancy to the way it is portrayed here.
The UL Eye (11Jan01): Fantastic musical, written by 2 very talented newcomers! Forget the critics and go see this one for yourself. The story pulls you in from the very beginning and keeps you entranced to the finale. Worth every penny - much more entertaining than the tele!
USER (11Jan01): Outstanding is the only way to describe this dramatic telling of the life of one of histories greats. Of course, to translate history into a musical one has to take some liberties but who cares when the result is so breathtaking. Visually, lyrically and above all, musically, stunning.
USER (11Jan01): I WENT TO ENGLAND IN OCTOBER TO SEE AS MANY SHOWS AS POSSIBLE IN A TEN-DAY PERIOD. THE ONLY SHOW I ENJOYED AS MUCH OR BETTER WAS MAMMA MIA. NOTRE DAME WAS ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE WHISTLE... WAS AS BLAND AS ANY OF THE HUNDRED PLAYS AND MUSICALS I'VE SEEN IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS (I CAN'T REMEMBER ONE TUNE FROM IT) LES MIZ WAS OF COURSE GREAT--HAVING SEEN IT SIX TIMES AND IN THREE DIFFERENT LANGUAGES
USER (11Jan01): I'am writing from Germany - it is a phantastically show - but you must see it with Uwe Kroeger as Napoleon. His performance is much more extraordinary and impressed very much
USER (11Jan01): Fantastic, emotive, passionate, power, ambition, betrayal, love and forgiveness. The talented combination of composition, interpretation and production are superb.
USER (11Jan01): There are so many good things about Napoleon it s difficult to know where to start. It s exciting to have an orchestra of 26 and music that demands very high quality singers. The whole company was excellent, the diction really clear so you could follow the plot – it s a sung through musical. The staging is rich on the eye but simple and effective, no huge trucks lumbering about but there are some brilliant set pieces. And the principals – I saw Uwe Kroger and Kristin Holck in maybe their first or second performance together – were very strong. The emphasis is bound to be on Napoleon and Josephine, but Nigel Richards as Lucien Bonaparte is the moral heart of the show, and his antithesis - David Burt as Talleyrand steals it.

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