From: Wednesday, 22nd February 2012
To: Saturday, 31 March 2012
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Off Broadway musical. The show tells the story of a young cave explorer who became trapped underground in 1925. Set above and below ground in the Kentucky hills, the ensuing dramatic rescue attempt shows how an extraordinary human adventure turned into one of the first American media circuses. Floyd went underground hoping to discover a gigantic cave which would bring him fame and fortune. Instead he is forced to come to terms with becoming that coveted tourist attraction himself.
Michael Coveney - 5 March 2012
A musical about a man trapped in a cave is no more unlikely than a film on the same subject, and it’s odd that this ambitious 1994 off-Broadway show by Tina Landau (book) and Adam Guettel (music and lyrics) is now historically sandwiched between Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole and Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours.
As in the Wilder film, the true life story of the cave-explorer Floyd Collins, who was trapped under a boulder 60 feet underground in 1925 and died a few days later, becomes a media event, with a pushy young journalist, “Skeets” Miller (Ryan Sampson) getting close enough to the despairing Floyd (Glenn Carter) for a story but not close enough to save him.
The dank brick vaults in the Playhouse directly underneath Platform One at London Bridge Station are an ideal setting, well exploited by director Derek Bond and designer James Perkins, using the full depth of the space, scattering it with ladders and orange b...
Latest User Review
David Baxter - 22 March 2012:
The Vaults at Southwark Playhouse act as a virtually site specific location for this unusual musical about a caver trapped underground in Kentucky in 1925. Sometimes a show is better than the sum of its parts and this is the case here. None of the songs are instantly memorable, not helped by a tricky sound system, the performances are variable and any tension about the outcome is ruined by a banner headline on the front of the programme. On top of all this the seats are fiendishly hard and uncomfortable and played havoc with my back. Despite all this it proved to be a highly enjoyable evening with a cast and surprisingly large band clearly committed to the piece. Glenn Carter does well in the title role which involves lying on the concrete floor for long periods, which must be even worse than the chairs. Robyn North is impish and touching as his unstable but devoted sister even if the songs do not suit her usual light soprano. Best of all is Ryan Sampson as a reporter who never loses sight of the need to focus on the rescue of Floyd as all alround him turns into a media circus (there are echoes of the Fabrice Muamba situation who, on Saturady evening, was being discussed as if he had actually died). I'm not sure that Floyd Collins is a great musical but in such an atmospheric setting it feels like a very good one....
Tina Landau (Book)
Adam Guettel (Music)
Adam Guettel (Lyrics)
Peter Huntley Productions (in association with Southwark Playhouse) ()
Tina Landau (additional lyrics) (Lyrics)
Derek Bond (Director)
James Perkins (Design)
Sally Ferguson (Lighting)
Robert Donnely-Jackson (Sound)
Tim Jackson (Musical Director)
Richard Jones (Choreographer)