Saturday, April 12, 2008

Zorro The Musical

"Zorro" is a new musical which has been touring the UK prior to opening in London's West End later in the year. I was recently fortunate enough to catch the show and all I can say is ... it's a must-see. You may remember the Antonio Banderas movie, well this stage production brings the swashbuckling antics of the masked hero to life.

There were some technical problems during this tour, which resulted in a couple of shows being cancelled. I wasn't really surprised by this as it's a very ambitious production, with the deceptively simple set design constantly changing, and the performers leaping around and flying through the air - and don't even start me on the swordfighting: hopefully those swords weren't too sharp, or there could have been some serious damage done!!
The well-known story of good versus evil is played out by a very talented and energetic cast, who hold your attention throughout. leading man Matt Rawle has a great singing voice and displayed good acting diversity from the slightly camp Diego to his brave and macho alter ego Zorro. (Although I found his posh-theatre-accent when playing Diego, maybe just a little strange!) Another major selling point is the score written by the Gipsy Kings, which includes some of their most popular and infectious songs - "Bamboleo", "Djobi Djoba" and "Baila Me" together with some new original songs sung in English and Spanish.
The first half of the musical is dramatic and often intense, but there is a lot more humour and action in the second half and it's certainly a very lively show which held my attention throughout. There has been some criticism elsewhere on the internet that the show is too long at almost three hours, but to be honest I didn't find this a problem and thought it zipped along at a very good pace. I Whilst I was there I wondered how well this musical will go in London, as it's a bit more unconventional than the usual popular shows - will musical theatre traditionalists accept a musical with much of the material sung in Spanish, for example? (That's not a criticism from me as I love almost anything in a foreign language, but I could imagine a lot of people hating the idea).
"Zorro" is certainly very different from the norm when it comes to musical theatre, and I thought it was a great show.

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