‘Sondheim’s music is played superbly’: ASSASSINS – Pleasance Theatre ★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

Pleasance Theatre, London – until 8 April 2018

Done well, Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins is a work of political beauty, offering up a delirium of perspectives upon the assassins and would-be assassins who over the USA’s recent centuries have fixed a serving President in their sights.

Done badly, however, and it becomes an interval-free tedium. Notwithstanding some occasional strong performances from its cast of ten (many of whom are badly let down by appalling sound balancing), Louise Bakker’s production values are shoddy from the outset, with her politically skewed finale proving a nadir of naive and clumsy disappointment.

Jordan Clarke’s band, however, is outstanding, and the two stars awarded by this review are for his quintet. See this show if you enjoy listening to Sondheim’s music played superbly. Otherwise, avoid.

Jonathan Baz on Twitter
Jonathan Baz
Theatre critic Jonathan Baz is London-based but with a coverage that extends far beyond the capital to include regional theatre as well as occasional forays into Europe and the USA. He enjoys reviewing new writing as much as seeing fresh interpretations of well-known plays and musicals. Jonathan also sits on the judging panel of London's Off West End Awards ("the Offies") and has published numerous interviews and features with leading figures in the film and theatre world. Away from the arts, Jonathan is a practising Chartered Accountant with a number of clients in the entertainment industries. He blogs at www.jonathanbaz.com and tweets at @MrJonathanBaz.
Read more...

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jonathan Baz on Twitter
Jonathan Baz
Theatre critic Jonathan Baz is London-based but with a coverage that extends far beyond the capital to include regional theatre as well as occasional forays into Europe and the USA. He enjoys reviewing new writing as much as seeing fresh interpretations of well-known plays and musicals. Jonathan also sits on the judging panel of London's Off West End Awards ("the Offies") and has published numerous interviews and features with leading figures in the film and theatre world. Away from the arts, Jonathan is a practising Chartered Accountant with a number of clients in the entertainment industries. He blogs at www.jonathanbaz.com and tweets at @MrJonathanBaz.