Don't bother going its Three hours better spent doing practically anything else the worse show ever to pay in Toronto. terrible sound. very difficult to follow thanks to actors diction, awful acting and the worse dance routines you can imagine _ So bad people walk out! AVOID - William Roberts
22 Oct 11
Seen at Cliffs pavilion, Southend.
My memories of the original production of Chess are somewhat hazy but it is clear that it has been substantially re-imagined and energised by Craig Revel Horwood. His background in dance is equally clear as the show is superbly choreographed, particularly during the chess-playing sequences which i do remember almost bringing the show to a halt. The use of actor-musicians means that there is a larger ensemble and orchestra than is usual for a touring production and the talent of these young performers is exceptional. Despite all the changes I am still not convinced Chess is a great musical although it does contain some excellent songs, particularly Anthem, superbly sung by Daniel Koek. The plot is confusing and contradictory, not helped by Tim Rice's attempts to shoehorn too much lyrical exposition into melodies thyat cannot support such verbosity. This is an exceptional production of a flawed show and confirms Revel Horwood as one of our most interesting musical directors. - David Baxter
17 Feb 11
LOVED IT - West End Transfer PLEASE!! - Jonathan
16 Feb 11
Felt i needed to post after seeing the reviews above...
I went to see this in Edinburgh last year and loved it so much that I booked for Birmingham to take my partner along at the weekend. I have always known the music of Chess since taking the Chess CD out at our library when I was 13 and listening to it over and over again, but never seen it performed or on DVD. We went on Saturday and I again, absolutely loved it...
My favourite by a long way was Shona White - I thought she was absolutely phenomenal - an amazing voice, really makes you feel the emotion, especially at the very end when she sings the reprise of You and I with Anatoli - I thought it was heartbreaking when he sang 'Stories like ours, have happy endings....' and went off with his wife. There were quite a number of people who gave a standing ovation and some (myself included) who literally had tears streaming...
I thought Daniel Koek was sensational - loved him. Not much more to say really.
I really hope this tour makes it to the West End as I for one would go again many MANY more times. In fact i’m thinking of booking to see it again in Glasgow in April. If it’s going to be another 20 years before it’s on again, I better see it one last time.
Natalie. - Natalie
16 Feb 11
As with other reviewers I was struggling to hear any of the words and understand the plot lines. I felt no warmth for any of the main characters. Could not really care about what happened to them. It was toss and go whether we left at the interval. We gave it another chance but apart from the obviously multi-talented chorus we were thoroughly disappointed by the main characters and the whole production. - ChrisB
14 Feb 11
Even though the strong singers did their best, unfortunately the lyrics of the songs were more often than not drowned out by the volume of the music. So much so that we actually got a little bored during the first half. Looking forward to the second half and the 'One Night in Bangkok' routine, it was a bit of a disappointment for the same reason. The music volume was such that the main singer's routine was actually a minor part compared to the music and because of this, the number came over as a little insipid - a shame especially as the singer had a good voice.
The second half was generally better, especially the 'I know him so well' routine and the female singers performance was excellent - probably because the lower music levels allowed their voices to come across.
I'm still not sure if some of the 'sexed up' parts of the routines were put in just because they could, but I don't think that people buying tickets for the 'Chess' Musical expected the avant garde treatment with clearly gay overtones, e.g. why was the Moderator topless dressed in leather?!
Good musical, good singers but shame about the production. - Chris Houlahan
11 Feb 11
The actors' voices were good - pity I could not understand a single word of lyric! This made following the plot almost impossible and what I did manage to follow was incredibly unengaging and boring. Left at the interval as could not face more shouty, incomprehensible singing, even though it meant I missed my two favourite songs from the show. - A Alexander
10 Feb 11
As others have said, Chess has finally got itself together in this production; i've read that other productions haven't done so well because of the multiple storylines and not knowing the best way to fit together but this production keeps you enterained throughout. The talented cast were amazing, playing the music as well as acting making it look so easy. The musical arrangement of some of the songs was the best I had heard them. A must see and hopefully will transfer to the west end. - Adam Ebbage
10 Feb 11
what a production, saw the original in London way back in my youth!! and amazing then and amazing now, updated and raunchy but stunning performance by cast,singing to make the hairs on the back of your neck tingle. beautifully designed costumes and incredibly energetic cast, wore me out just watching must see in my opinion. - Mary Lou
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