HomeTheatreREVIEW: CHESS THE MUSICAL - IN CONCERT (Theatre Royal Drury Lane)


Chess The Musical made its first transfer onto the West Finish stage in 1986. With a rating from ABBA’s legendary Benny and Björn and ebook/lyrics by the incomparable Sir Tim Rice, the unique idea album and manufacturing immediately grew to become a success with audiences and performed for 3 years. Since then, the present has gone by means of many iterations together with a brief Broadway run, a number of worldwide productions and quite a few concert events together with the likes of Michael Ball, Idina Menzel, Sutton Foster, Josh Groban and Alexandra Burke. Now for 2 nights solely, audiences can as soon as once more be caught up within the drama, spectacle and melodies of this wealthy piece of theatre in a particular live performance enjoying Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Chess The Musical is about throughout the top of the Chilly Conflict as two chess masters meet in Bangkok to battle for the world championship, however their best contest is for the love of 1 girl. Telling a narrative of affection and political intrigue and set in opposition to the background of the Chilly Conflict within the late Seventies/early Eighties, Chess options an unbelievable rating together with classics corresponding to “I Know Him So Properly”, “Anthem” and “One Evening in Bangkok”.

Led by the London Musical Theatre Orchestra, this manufacturing of Chess The Musical encompasses a star-studded solid together with Samantha Barks (Frozen, Les Misérables) as Florence, Hadley Fraser (2:22 A Ghost Story, Metropolis of Angels) as Anatoly, Joel Harper-Jackson (Cock, Kinky Boots) as Freddie, Frances Mayli McCain (Bonnie and Clyde, Our Girls of Perpetual Succour) as Svetlana, Ako Mitchell (Caroline Or Change, The Color Purple) as The Arbiter and Craige Els (Matilda the Musical, The Imitation Recreation as Molokov. Having performed the half in director Nick Winston’s 2020 Japanese manufacturing, Samantha Barks wows along with her Florence. Chess fan-favourites You And I, Heaven Assist My Coronary heart and I Know Him So Properly have by no means sounded sweeter and her No one’s Aspect blew the roof of the theatre. As Anatoly, Hadley Fraser was gorgeous. Serving an excellent wealthy vocal tone with beautiful depth, he sang the rating with ease and audiences had been handled to essentially the most stunning rendition of Anthem this reviewer has ever heard. Bravo! Joel Harper-Jackson as Freddie was the right alternative for this bombastic function and he delivered a vocal that enthralled from begin to end. Hitting new heights with vocal finesse and dwelling his rock tenor fantasy, Harper-Jackson’s Freddie was an inspirational masterclass. Frances Mayli McCain’s hanging voice fantastically dealt with a candy Svetlana and her Somebody Else’s Story and I Know Him So Properly had been magnificent present stoppers.

Directed and Choreographed by Nick Winston, primarily based on his 2020 Japan manufacturing, this new Chess avoids the problems of earlier productions and as an alternative presents a streamlined and slick model of this iconic rating. With power-house vocals, intelligent and efficient choreography and commanding emotive performances this Chess is a lot greater than a live performance. With the primary present promoting out rapidly and solely three probabilities to see the present over two nights, Chess The Musical stays as common now because it was upon it’s debut. Chess is introduced as a part of three concert events being staged by Theatre Royal Drury Lane together with Kinky Boots on eighth August and new musical Treason twenty second August. Tickets for all might be bought on their web site and if Chess is something to go by, audiences are in for one thing very particular.


Reviewed by Stuart James



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