It’s an amazing time for diversity of style in “musicals” on both sides of the pond. Hamilton’s hip-hop, street poetry, storytelling, David Yazbek’s middle-eastern infused charmer The Band’s Visit, Jeanine Tesori’s Fun Home (newly arrived at London’s Young Vic while her dazzlingly original Caroline Or Change plays at the Playhouse Theatre).
The first thing most people would agree on here is that the venue for Floyd Collins is spot on. Wilton’s Music Hall is steeped in history, and its ruggedness serves as the perfect backdrop for this Southern American jaunt into a haunting cave of wonders.
‘In a cavern, in a canyon, excavating for a mine … ‘It’s very hard to get Huckleberry Hound’s tone-deaf version of ‘Clementine’ out of your head in this musical where a young Kentucky man.
The evening has to be given to Close, who exceeded every expectation and was every ounce the Hollywood star she is. Charisma, dramatisation, characterisation, timing and delivery, all outstandingly perfect.
Harvey Fierstein’s second London opening this week after Kinky Boots is Casa Valentina, which makes its European premier at the Southwark Playhouse and proves a remarkable piece of theatre.
Clarke Peters doesn’t appear in the official Darren Bell rehearsal photo set for How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which might explain why he fluffed so many times, lost his place in the script and kept laughing at the other actors’ gags – maybe he hadn’t heard them before?