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Casanova Productions in association with Trilby Productions

Casanova

1

 

A New Musical

Book, Music and Lyrics by Philip Godfrey

Directed by Tim McArthur

Musical Supervisor – Stephen Hose

 

Greenwich Playhouse

 

14 May – 8 June, 2008

 

 

 

 

1ary Couzen

A review by Allan Taylor for EXTRA! EXTRA!

 

Phillip Godfrey’s Casanova is a new musical based on the memoirs of the Latino Lathario. A rags to riches, sex to success story, the musical brings to life 30 characters using 11 actors and 3 musicians to recount the lover’s exploits as a medic, an alchemist, an aristocrat and the most famous Romeo of them all.

“New musicals” always tread a dangerous line, being that musicals as a genre traditionally belong in the West End, but new ones are very rarely added to the bill of ever cycled favourites like Les Mis and The Phantom Of the Opera. Given the fringe’s reputation for the contemporary, Casanova represents a novel jaunt at The Playhouse.

An outstanding and very underused performance comes from Gemma Morsely as Lucrezia. Her soaring voice and acting talent is suited to something like opera; a forum that is crying out for people that can combine those two talents. Anthony Flaum provides a believable Casanova, but the entire troupe do well, with some enjoying the dance routines a bit too much (I’m looking at you, William Ludwig), and you get the overall sense of a great team effort.

The most intriguing songs were “The Philosopher’s Stone” and “A Year in Paris”, providing some rhythmic, comical, emotive yet light hearted moments, with excellent choreography combined in these pieces from Tim McArthur. Some songs descend into “Carry On: The Musical”, like “Mixed Doubles”; limp-wristed campery about group sex is always going to be hard to swallow (ooo, matron etc.), but the humour is the driving force that guides it through safely to the other side of the first act.

Overall, a good book, with some great musical moments, but the melodramatic style of the musical just isn’t contained at The Playhouse. Godfrey would be better off living this up completely as a cabaret-cum-melodrama, or on the flipside as a very serious piece about Casanova’s life. However, it should be taken in the spirit it was intended; light hearted and humorous, and a different take on a life less ordinary. Casanova is a commendable production that will provide an audience with the humour and gusto expected from a sex mad subject.

 

Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm;
Sundays at 4pm

 

Tickets: £12 (£10 concs)

Box Office: 020 8858 9256

or

boxoffice@galleontheatre.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

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