Saw a remarkably successful production at Old Palace this evening. I hesitate to call it a play since there was a great deal of music involved, yet neither was it so gaudily irritating as most musicals. The frankly hilarious content was rather unusual for a school performance, featuring as it did references to Brighton as a place where businessmen take their secretaries for sex, and an orchestra who have had their instruments impounded by customs after they discovered a spliff hidden in a flute.
The two leads, a crazy Russian janitor and the inexperienced but dedicated English conductor, were particularly good, playing well off one another during their scenes together. The musical performances were all good, with various foreign language musical sections, but most impressive were an energetic virtuoso violin recitacion where the player never actually played a note, and the climactic full-cast orchestral performance that was fully mimed for around ten minutes in time with a soundtrack, but without a single instrument! It sounds crazily pretentious, and frankly it was. But with a cast who clearly enjoyed what they were doing, it worked.
Worked so well, in fact, that The Musicians has become the first Old Palace drama event to go on tour: they will be performing a slightly re-directed version at The Albany Theatre on the 23rd April, having been selected by a panel from a competition into which they entered the production.
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