Following on from Ragtime last summer and Lucky Stiff earlier this year the Landor Theatre is producing another musical by Ahrens and Flaherty: The Glorious Ones.
The musical is set in 17th century Italy and features a troupe of travelling players – and the characters are a fictional “real live” original versions of the stock characters that became commedia dell’arte characters: Il Dottore, Pantalone and others.
The original novel is a treat – each chapter tells a different part of the story by a different character. Ahrens and Flaherty have retained some of this set-up and so a sequence of set-pieces and vignettes illuminate the leading player, Flaminio Scala, and his struggle with the changing ways of theatre and with growing older. The songs are great – full of energy and glorious details. They are sharp and witty and with enough of a hint of the sounds and rhythms you may have heard back then.
Robert McWhir directs, Martin Thomas designs and wonderful lighting designs by Howard Hudson. The cast is made up of Mike Christie, Peter Straker, Kate Brennan, Jodie Beth Meyer, Peter Gerald, Anouska Eaton and Christopher Berry.
I was delighted to be asked to provide the new arrangements for the five piece band – do let me know what you think.
Reviews are looking great. Here are a couple of highlights:
“Kate Brennan’s beautifully buxom performance swells with personality and panache.” (Ian Foster, The Public Reviews)
“Musically, Niall Bailey’s orchestrations pare down the score, supporting rather than overpowering the cast/” (Josh Boyd-Rochford, Fourth Wall Magazine)
Do go along and see this great piece of theatre. Visit the Landor website for tickets and more details. Runs to 7th April 2012.