Tickets and more information: https://www.londonboxoffice.co.uk/man-of-la-mancha-tickets
Booking until: 8th June 2019
Production Photos by: Manuel Harlan
Run time: 2hrs 30mins
In this musical by Dale Wasserman we follow the author Miguel De Cervantes as he’s in prison. While waiting to be judged by the Spanish Inquisition, he tells the story of his mad knight Don Quixote to his fellow prisoners. This is the first revival of Man of La Mancha since it’s original London production in 1968. Having now seen what a messy, snoozefest this is, I can’t say I’m surprised.
Firstly, the plot is all over the place. I sat in that auditorium for nearly 3 hours and I still have no idea what happened throughout. Scenes jump from one to another with no real development or meaning as to why this was happening. It was just absolutely bizarre. You’d have one scene with a bunch of guys just randomly beating up Aldonza for seemingly no reason. Because she wouldn’t shag them? If so, WHERE WAS THE SUBTEXT? WHERE WAS THE ACTUAL DEVELOPMENT? Also, it was just not an interesting story at all. It was far too long, boring and overall uninspiring.
The cast is led by Kelsey Grammer (aka Fraiser) who does try but even when he tries his best, his performance is bland and so anti-charismatic and I just did not want to root for his character at all. His singing voice isn’t even that bad, even though the music drowns him out at times (but I would probably put this down to exhaustion rather than lack of ability). The saving graces in this production are Danielle De Neise as Aldonza or Dulcinea as our protagonist seems to keep on calling her for no particular reason at all. Her voice is stunning and she actually injects enough life into her character that you kind of miss her when she’s not on stage. In a role with minimal stage time Nicholas Lyndhurst does a great job in his dual roles as the Innkeeper/Governor.
To be frank, this is a very average production for a show at the Coliseum. Not just in terms of plot, but in the minimal details as well. The fight choreography was pathetically basic. Each song sounded identical as the next. And also the accents were all over the place. I felt like no one really knew how to tackle this musical so they just decided to leave it. They shouldn’t have bothered putting it on at all.
Until next time,