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.