Extraordinary theatre. When I first heard about this show I wasn't convinced it would play well to an UK audience - musically or as a story. I was eventually convinced by my wife (who really wanted to see it) and a very good friend (who had alreaedy seen it once) that it would be worth it so I succumed, hit the on-line ticket queue and finally landed some front row Royal Circle tickets. I still wasn't sure what to expect when we all turned up last night but wow. I am converted. I can't really compare it to anything, it isn't quite like any other musical you have seen, but the story is compelling, the performances amazing and the staging a revelation!
The anti-tout ticket approach of this show is a bit bizarre, the person who bought the tickets has to be there and has to go in, they have to have photo-ID and the original purchase card with them and the whole group have to be together at the time. I can see what they are trying to achieve, and they have got it working quite well, but had it been raining we would have been (a) soaked and (b) miserable, by the time we got in. Not sure how well the system works in the cold and now of winter but I'm sure they'll sort something out.In the Royal Circle area the availabiility of toilets is, as so often, an issue - shame as the theatre was refurbished not so long ago, they're losing money at the bar with people spending the whole interval standing in queues for the loo!
The performances are wonderful; tight, slick and well paced. I could hear and understand every word throughout but it was the staging that really excited - movement and visual impact are an integral part of this show and require the cast to concentrate throughout as if it wasn't spot on it would look really naff ... it is spot on, in fact it is amazing.
I came out wanting to dig around in some American history that I'd clearly never picked up on, wanting to get the soundtrack and knowing that I would not forget that experience in a hurry ... a fabulous evening.