Death Takes A Holiday is a show with music by Maury Yeston and a book by Peter Stone and Thomas Meehan set shortly after World War One. Death has disguised himself as a young prince and visits a rich family to discover why death is so feared. The show is directed by Thom Sutherland whose production of Grand Hotel I had seen a couple of years ago and really enjoyed. I had missed his productions of Ragtime and Titanic when they were in London so was happy to get a last minute ticket. And I brought my aunt along with me as a birthday present.
Death Takes A Holiday is a fantastic & romantic piece of musical theatre where Death is personified. In this production, he’s in the form of the incredible Chris Peluso. His voice is incredible. I had previously seen him in Miss Saigon and he was the only bearable part of Show Boat for me. He genuinely just oozes charm, it’s no wonder the characters in the show were falling in love with him. And to be honest, I couldn’t help falling a little bit in love with Death either. He leads the company with Zoe Doano as Grazia who, after miraculously surviving a car crash, begins acting different towards her fiancee once the Prince comes to stay at her family’s home for the weekend. Her voice is so soft spoken, she’s really pleasant to listen to. And her vocal range is stunning, she goes high enough without sounding shrill.
The whole company are exquisite and all have their moments in the spotlight. The two standouts for me were James Gant as Fidele the butler and Samuel Thomas as Eric Fenton, a friend of Grazia’s late brother. James was wonderful and had some really funny moments in the show. He will take over the role of Death from 13th February so I hope I can see him before the run ends. Samuel has an incredible voice and has a real unique way of storytelling through song, he’s captivating to watch.
The set design is made up of gorgeous moving pillars. It’s a small stage but still manages to convey a beautiful villa and the transitioning between scenes are effortless. The music is absolutely gorgeous. The only issue I had, was that the music was so lush and large; in the veins of Les Miserables & Miss Saigon, that maybe the theatre was a bit too small to really appreciate the music.
Other than that, the show is wonderful and I’m really glad I got to see it. The Charing Cross Theatre is a small space round the back of the station and I hope to see more shows there.
Death Takes A Holiday is running until 4th March. For more information visit http://charingcrosstheatre.co.uk/theatre/death-takes-a-holiday.
Until next time,