Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the Boulevard Theatre’s inaugural production.
The Stage: ★★★★ “Zubin Varla is one of those actors you could stare at for the entire show and feel as if you’ve missed nothing. He’s so committed and expressive.”
Time Out: ★★★ “But for all its haunting brilliance, it’s a low-key show that’s perhaps been overegged to rise to the occasion of launching this theatre. A lot to like, but the Boulevard’s best days are ahead of it, I reckon.”
Evening Standard: ★★★ “Director Bill Buckhurst – forever to be famous for staging Sweeney Todd in a pie shop in Tooting – keeps things relaxed and convivial. The songs are introduced as if by the track listing for a two-disc concept album. Some are touching, others merely diverting, such as The Astronomer, whose titular hero aspires to sing in church. “Practice, practice!” admonish the other cast members.”
The Guardian: ★★★★ “As urban legends feed into drunken odes to friendship, with whispered stories of scattered stars and broken hearts, a cosiness settles over the theatre, a welcome spirit of generosity mingling with the ghosts and ghouls.”
London Theatre1: ★★★★★ “Carly Bawden, Niccolò Curradi, Maimuna Memon and Zubin Varla are just superb. The two women who both get wonderful solos, sing like a dream, ably backed up by the two men – their four-part harmonies are just sublime.”
London Theatre.co.uk: ★★★★ “The four exceptional actors provide their own spellbinding musical accompaniment, with Zubin Varla (on piano), Niccolò Curradi (on cello) and Carly Bawden and Maimuna Memon (both on multiple percussion instruments). There are times when I felt frustrated by the sheer amount of intellectual heavy-lifting that the show asks of its audience (though not the delightful way it invites audience members to provide additional percussion), but there are more moments of transcendent beauty that make it all worthwhile.”
British Theatre.com: ★★★★★ “After an hour and a half, in which time seems to stand still, we find ourselves suspended in a kind of musical ‘Southern and Northern Gothic’ landscape, where semi-mythical figures drift in and out of our vision, momentarily arresting us with candid revelations of their private lives and hidden desires, regaling us with histrionic analogies and obscure, Twin-Peaks-like confessions.”
The Times: ★★★★ “A gloriously spooky music-theatre piece by the American composer Dave Malloy that has been given a bewitching in-the-round production by Bill Buckhurst.”
Theatre Weekly: ★★★★★ “Ghost Quartet is as incredibly moving as it wonderfully joyous. In truth, it is unlike anything you will have seen before, part theatre, part mystical music gig, it all comes together to create a sense of wonderment that is palpable throughout the audience.”
British Theatre Guide: “Suffice to say that this gloriously offbeat production will delight every member of the audience, bring the house down and guarantee a standing ovation at the end of each performance.”
Musical Theatre Review: ★★★★ “In an evening dedicated to the power of collaborative storytelling, the final song concludes with a powerful breakdown of the line between performer and audience that is as telling as it is awkwardly hilarious. It typifies an evening, directed by Bill Buckhurst, that is capricious, mood-fuelled, mystical and engaging. As a statement for what the new Boulevard Theatre wants to be, it’s a winner.”
Broadway World: ★★★★ “Emma Chapman’s lights reflect on the surface, creating patterns and marble-like effects that add a splash of magic to an already dreamy show.”
The Upcoming: ★★★ “The show’s strengths lie in showing what this Boulevard Theatre can do, rather than the best it can be. It’s a space small enough to allow the cast to hand out glasses of whiskey to the audience, bring them on stage to play instruments. In the right hands, it could be really special. Ghost Quartet is a decent start.”
Ghost Quartet continues to play at the Boulevard Theatre until 4 January 2020.