There are many timely parallels with subjects covered in Ian Grant‘s new play, which spans 66 years in the life of the Randall family, between 1914 and 1973 – including the centenaries of the end of the first world war and votes for women. How does the team capture those incredible time shifts in an instant onstage, on a fringe budget?
Other topics covered included why the creatives wanted to revisit the story of the Rothschilds after more than forty years, the indelible mark our family makes on us, the actors’ approaches to their characters (and whether Robert taught Gary anything about Nathan Rothschild), differences in US versus UK reactions and a fair bit about the real Rothschilds today.
For all its considerable entertainment value, there are some vitally important messages here, about politics, society and the fragility of our institutions – messages that, 246 years after the birth of the world’s greatest modern democracy, are perhaps never more urgent than now. History has its eyes on us all, as one of Miranda’s lyrics reminds us.
The emphasis is on Off-West End musicals I’ve seen recently, all of which have things to recommend them – Miracle on 34th Street and The Little Match Girl to get you into the Christmas spirit, The Woman in White to re-evaluate this overlooked Andrew Lloyd Webber and Barnum to see the Menier transformed and mourn the loss of the American circus institution.