Man of La Mancha, London Coliseum - ★★★★☆ - Until June 8, 2019


I have to confess that Man of La Mancha is a personal favourite - an imaginative musical reworking of Don Quixote. However, the show for me works far better in a much smaller venue than the vast London Coliseum. Nevertheless with a large cast and superb orchestra it certainly tried to fill the space. The direction by Lonny Price was straight-forward and effective. However, I hated the dreadful set; what on earth was happening on that back wall? A windmill projection unworthy of even a village hall said it all for me. The big draw is Kelsey Grammer as Cervantes/Don Quixote. He delivers the dialogue very well, but is less assured when singing. I also felt that his frequently static performance didn't command the stage as it should. Nevertheless, his final scenes were tremendously effective. Not unsurprisingly the incomparable "Impossible Dream" brought down the house. For me, the real star was Danielle de Niese as the trollop, Aldonza, who is, in Quixote's imagination, the epitome of purity. She sang magnificently and hurled herself fearlessly into this most physical of roles. Peter Polycarpou and Nicholas Lyndhurst offer excellent support. Overall a worthy, but flawed attempt to revive a classic.

Reviewed by D.S.J.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆★ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until June 8, 2019
Mon - Sat: 7:30 pm, Wed & Sat: 2:30 pm
London Coliseum
Nearest tube: Covent Garden
https://www.eno.org/whats-on/man-of-la-mancha

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