Spring Awakening @ Almeida Theatre

Rating: 5/5
Running until: 29th January 2022
Tickets link: https://almeida.co.uk/whats-on/spring-awakening/2-dec-2021-22-jan-2022

In the first major London revival of the modern classic musical, Spring Awakening couldn’t be more relevant to today. A show dealing with youth empowerment, freedom and sexuality exploration are still important themes in young people today as they were back when the show opened on Broadway in 2006. I missed the initial London production when it opened but I’m so glad to have caught this incredible production at the Almeida.

The staging is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before at the Almeida. The set is a very large flight of stairs, designed by Miriam Buether which is used really well. Lynne Page’s choreography across all of the musical numbers really incorporate this well. The standout moments for me were both The Word Of Your Body and it’s reprise along with Totally Fucked. Although there was a slight fear in me throughout the show hoping the actors didn’t fall down the stairs.

I have spent many years listening to the original Broadway cast recording of Spring Awakening. When the performance started, it was a bit disconcerting at first to get used to the British accents at first, but I got over that pretty quickly. The score is just as fantastic as it was when I first discovered years ago. Every single song in the show is an absolute banger. I’ve seen the show twice now and the second time was part of Almeida’s Free For 25 and Unders night. There was something really and truly moving about hearing an audience filled with young people – a group who are typically not listened to – applaud in utter joy after a song like Totally Fucked. It was completely electrifying.

The entire cast are absolutely fantastic, there isn’t a single weak link among them. Amara Okereke is a stunning Wendla, really capturing the wide eyed gaze and innocence of the character. Her performance of the song Whispering was so haunting. Laurie Kynaston was fantastic as Melchior, he was just sublime and his performance in the last 10 minutes of the show was particularly stunning. I also really loved Stuart Thompson as Moritz, who really channeled the anguish Mortiz goes through that I couldn’t help but root for him. Another stand out for me was Nathan Armarkwei-Laryea as Hanschen who was unbelievably charming throughout.

I really, really loved this production and I’m so hoping for a transfer. The intimate setting works at the Almeida but I would love to see Rupert Goold’s production on a bigger scale, preferably with this fantastic cast. The run at the Almeida is sold out but do keep an eye out for returns.

Until next time,

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