The flamenco-fuelled production is based on the 2005 bestseller by Chilean novelist Isabel Allende about Don Diego de la Vega, a fictional wealthy caballero who defends the people of Spanish California against injustice, and includes Gipsy King standards “Bamboleo”, “Baila Me” and “Djobi Djoba” as well as specially written new songs.
Zorro’s path to West End opening has not been straightforward, having been blighted by technical problems which caused the cancellation of two tour performances at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, as well as its first two previews at the Garrick (See News, 1 Jul 2008). The £3 million production features an elaborate set, as well as what producers describe as “high-level stunts”, “fast-moving choreography”, and of course the requisite sword-fights.
Leading the 30-strong cast, Matt Rawle reprises his pre-West End performance in the title role with Lesli Margherita as Inez, alongside new West End company members Emma Williams and Adam Levy. The production is directed by Christopher Renshaw, choreographed by Spanish choreographer and dancer Rafael Amargo and designed by Tom Piper. Also on the creative team is co-composer and musical arranger John Cameron and book author Stephen Clark.
Overnight critics were generally very positive in their response to the latest addition to the \"Zorro franchise\". Rafael Amargo’s choreography - an “orgy of foot-stamping and skirt-twirling” - garnered particular praise, as did the “spectacular flying and fighting effects”. Matt Rawle’s Zorro was deemed a “pleasantly nonchalant hero”, though most felt that Adam Levy was the real show-stealer - “by some way the best actor on stage”. Though some critics questioned the potential longevity of the show, most eagerly proclaimed the Garrick\'s latest arrival with cheers of \"olé, olé\".
- by Theo Bosanquet
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