Hania Douglas: A night at the theatre with Amadeus
Went to see Amadeus at the theatre the other night and, I swear, it was a spectacle for the eyes as well as a feast for the ears. While I feared not understanding the play due to being musically illiterate, I do think it’s a show everyone on the musical scale could watch and enjoy – just leave the kids at home.
The stage set the mood immediately with mounds and mounds of scrap paper built into pillars housing the musicians and the cast, putting you in mind of impassioned madness, but also, somehow, letting you know that it was all taking place in the messy, scattered memory of court composer Antonio Salieri.
Enter Salieri – Michael Hurst played the powerful, brooding lead, holding my attention from the word ‘go’.
As for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself, played by Ross McCormack, well, he’s that annoying person that, while exerting no effort at all, is still better than you at everything, despite the fact that you’ve tried your best. From the exquisite dancing to the quick, tart line delivery, this guy was fun to watch.
The music itself was an interesting blend of classical and modern. It never hindered the story; instead it added an element of wonder and fun. Special mention to the talented ensemble that played their parts marvellously – shout out to Laughton Kora and Kura Forrester. The beautiful Madison Nonoa as the stunning soprano Katherina Cavelieri added something kind of ethereal to the production.
My only negative critique would be, to paraphrase Joseph the Emperor, that there was no big bang to let you know when to clap. The second act was also quite depressing, so while the production definitely deserved a standing ovation, by the end we were feeling so sad for the antagonist that we missed the moment, and then it was gone.
The highlight for me was Salieri. There was so much light, shade and depth to him, just on the edge of madness, that thin line where you find brilliance. While the same may not be said of your legacy, at least in this incarnation, you are immortal.