I saw this twice and i loved it. All the cast were amazing and so lovely to fans at the stage door. I adore Michael Pickering. I really would love to see this in the West End as it so deserves it. - Carla
21 Mar 11
This seems to me another case of the critics not seeing what the audience do?
This is a GREAT show, a story that we all (should) know - told in a swashbuckling way - with a sparkling score which will duel in your head long after the curtain has fallen - and a fantastic cast and production.
I urge you to see this show, you won't be dissapointed! - Marcus
14 Dec 10
I took my family to see it and we all absolutely loved it! The music is superb and the cast were outstanding. - loulou71
14 Dec 10
I saw this production on 30th Novemeber where the role of Milady was played by two actresses as the actress who was cast to play this role was indisposed. Melanie Jessop acted the role on stage while Claire Moore sang the part at the side of the stage and I have to say once you got used to this set up it worked very well. Act one is in my opinion a little messy with some fairly good songs and plenty of sword fights but this musical really comes to life in act two where the story moves along much better with excellent songs sung by the wonderful Michael Pickering and the other three musketeers. The only let down to this production is the stage set consisting of wooden beams and steps and when the actors are climbing up and down the noise of their movements tends to obliterate some of the vocals. If this production does transfer in to the west end the producers need to look again at the set as a couple of doors and a balcony with a changing backcloth would work far better. On the performances of the excellent cast alone I would give this five stars. - ils
09 Dec 10
Not being a fan of musicals, I was sceptical as to whether I would enjoy this production. However, due to excellent performances from everyone involved, I was soon swept away by the enthusiasm of the cast. I felt that the first half was slightly overlong, and that perhaps one of the songs could have been trimmed. The second half seemed to move along more quickly. On the night I went (1 December) the actor playing Milady was unwell, and so the part was played by an actor speaking the part, and a singer performing from side stage. It worked rather well, and the audience appreciated the effort that had been made. I don't agree that the stage set was lacking: I thought it made use of the Rose Theatre's several levels and gallery, and created interest and variety.
All in all, if you enjoy musicals like Les Mis, I think you will enjoy this. - Jane Edwards
09 Dec 10
The show must go on spirit was alive at the Rose Theatre in Kingston when I saw this show. The actress playing Milady – a rather significant role – was taken ill at short notice. Their novel solution was for director Francis Matthews to read the part, script in hand, whilst composer George Stiles sang the part from the side of the stage. The only braver stand-in I’ve ever seen was when writer / director Terry Johnson stood in for David Haig during the original run of Dead Funny at Hampstead Theatre – a part the writer / director had decided needed full-frontal nudity! It was only the second preview, but the show was in good shape. The book by Peter Raby & the director and the lyrics of Paul Leigh tell the story well, with a good balance between serious story-telling and tongue-in-cheek humour. I’ve never understood why a composer as talented as George Stiles hasn’t had the success Just So and Honk suggested he would; his score for this is very good indeed. Simon Higlett has erected a multi-layered set with lots of entrances and exits which facilitates a pacy staging with plenty of swash and buckle. It’s choreographed by someone more experienced in plays than musicals and most of the time this helps, but the actors aren’t yet comfortable with the movement required of them. I think the best way to describe it is Les Mis Light – and that’s not a criticism!
I really liked Michael Pickering’s D’Artagnan, a combination of fearlessness and naivety. Hal Folwer, Paul Thornly and Matt Rawle are all excellent as the musketeers (the latter is clearly specialising in swash-buckling roles having given us Zorro fairly recently). Kaisa Hammarlund, with four Menier musicals under her belt, is perfect as the love interest, and Iain Fletcher and Kirsty Hoiles (straight out of Spend Spend Spend) make a fine King & Queen. In fact, it’s a great company with a great seven piece band. This show will clearly grow; based on this showing I think the Rose have a hit on their hands and I hope the proposed West End transfer comes off. More than great seasonal fare, but great seasonal fare nonetheless. - Gareth James
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