Friday 23 March 2018

Assassins - Review

Pleasance Theatre, London


Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Directed by Louise Bakker

UPDATE - Since this review was published, Louise Bakker has made a change to the show's finale that significantly reduces the political skew referred to below

The cast in rehearsal
Done well, Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins is a work of political beauty, offering up a delirium of perspectives upon the assassins and would-be assassins who over the USA’s recent centuries have fixed a serving President in their sights.

Done badly, however and it becomes an interval-free tedium. Notwithstanding some occasional strong performances from its cast of ten (many of whom are badly let down by appalling sound balancing), Louise Bakker’s production values are shoddy from the outset, with her politically skewed finale proving a nadir of naive and clumsy disappointment.

Jordan Clarke’s band however are outstanding, and the 2 stars awarded by this review are for his quintet. See this show if you enjoy listening to Sondheim’s music played superbly. Otherwise, avoid.

Runs until 8th April

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