SEASONS OF LOVE
Music by Brendan Larissey& lyrics by Mark Leddy
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
London on 1March 2015 prior to touring later in the year,
Runs 2 hr. One interval
One off – 1st March 2015
Review: William Russell 1 March
The shape of things to come
Heading later in the year to a theatre near you Seasons of Love was given a charity premier at Drury Lane to launch it on the world and filled that legendary stage to the manner born. It is a song and dance show in which a cast of singers and dancers illustrate the passing seasons of a romance between a young man and a woman which starts in the autumn, does not prosper through the winter, but is renewed come spring with the hope of a summer of love to follow. At least that is what I think it is about because the exposition is, to be frank and in spite of the consummate professionalism on stage, somewhat muddled and so loud is the music one cannot hear the words.
There are three couples playing the dancing lovers so they could be three different lovers or just the same ones at different stages in the affair, but it makes no difference. The action is also allegedly set in Ireland today, but that is something also to take on trust and matters not because in fact it set in showbiz land and the result is spectacular, athletic, brash and hugely enjoyable.
The large cast perform in front of an amazing series of tuppencecoloured videos projected on a huge screen at the rear of the stage showing a tree of unspecified type shedding its leaves in autumn, enduring the chills of winter, and acquiring rather startling blossoms known to no plant on this earth come spring.
The dancers are extremely athletic, great legs and marvellous six packs abound, and the costume changes are endless. The choreography they are given to perform is not exactly avant garde, more Las Vegas strip, but they perform it extremely well. The vocalists – Claire Richards, Mark Read and Chesney Hawkes among them – warble well either centre stage or at the side watching the luckless couples coupling or parting while some backing singers do what backing singers do at the back of the stage. A substantial on stage orchestra electronically enhanced plays the music.
Look out for it in a theatre near you sometime soon. It is gorgeous and ghastly and worth every penny of the ticket price.
Autumn: Marianne Phillips & Kane D Ricca
Winter: Martin Fenton & Mandy Montanez
Spring: Kieran Brown & Danielle Evendell
Autumn: Patrick Smyth, Ambra Caserotti
Winter: Mark Read, Hayley Sanderson
Spring: Chesney Hawkes, Claire Richards
Director and choreographer: Gareth Walker.
Designer: Mark Cunniffe