6 July 2009 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews Scamp Theatre’s production of is aimed at children over eight and yet it has the power to make make adults weep. The Mozart Question Written by former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo, author of 100 books and recipient of both the MBE and the OBE, it deals with the unpalatable subject of the holocaust. You may think this unsuitable for children but they learn about it at school and what better way to understand the fate of six million Jews murdered in World War II, than to follow its effects on one family. Morpurgo uses the same trick in Private Peaceful, recently shown at the Lowry, where the tale of one young soldier helps people comprehend the loss of 800,000 young men in WW I. This story begins with the great violinist Paolo Levi ( Andrew Bridgmont) revealing all on the night before his 50th birthday concert. The audience are eager to know why, until now, the world famous virtuoso has refused to play Mozart. How could anyone reject “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, the composer’s ethereal violin concertos or even “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?" Young Paolo lives above his father’s barber’s shop and, when he is nine, hears a violin in the distance. It is the instrument once played but now rejected by his parents and, unable to resist the beautiful sound, he creeps out in his pyjamas to listen. It is played by Signor Horowitz, who, along with Paolo’s mother and father, was a member of a concentration camp orchestra forced to play Mozart to calm other Jews going to their deaths. Their music protected them from a similar fate. Unlike Paolo’s parents Horowitz hasn’t given up on his music or the human race and he teaches Paolo his art. Bridgmont performs all the parts himself differentiating well between characters.He plays his violin with sensitivity and beauty.You could spend the time just listening to his playing, yet it is only thanks to his words that we can appreciate the healing power of music. Stage Manager, Jen Davey ensures the stage does not seem too bare even though furniture is limited. The children on the night I attended were engrossed, as was I. And at just fifty minutes – this is enough for kids to take in its harrowing, yet, life affirming theme. - Julia Taylor Related Content Back to Northwest Homepage
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