Theatre developed around styles of musical and operatic forms of performance.
The title of a theatre production is designed to provoke a reaction; Gotta Sing Gotta Dance had a decided effect on me, leading me to expect the usual fare of song and dance energetically contrived. What a surprise I was in for as I viewed the unfolding of a wonderfully coherent and original production that turned out to be a stunning exposé of the last sixty years of musical theatre.
Profumo: The Musical, produced and written by Gordon Kenny, presents the events around the 1960s Profumo Affair in which John Profumo, Minister for War in Harold Macmillan's Tory government, embarks on a scandalous love affair with young nightclub dancer, Christine Keeler.
Jon Hartmere’s and Damon Intraboloto’s bare: the rock musical puts sexuality front and centre in the hazardous terrain of young people claiming their adult identity. As a result, the story of youths in their final year of high school at a Catholic boarding school is naturally full of teenage angst.
Opera Siam’s European premiere production of Mae Naak at the Bloomsbury last night, by composer and librettist Somtow Sucharitkul (aka S. P Sowtow), proves that it continues to engage audiences all around the world. First staged in 2003, it is a stunning work that fuses a European operatic style with Thai folkloric music. Arguably, such a synthesis reflects the global experiences of S. P. Sowtow himself, whose English scholarship (he was educated at Eton and Cambridge) and links to English musical traditions seems to have been successfully negotiated with his role as founder of the Bangkok Opera and the Siam Philharmonic.