Bewitchment* (Landor Theatre)

Posted: December 21, 2015 in Theatre


My love for the Landor is well documented, so it goes without saying that what follows is written with a heavy heart and it will be brief. Under artistic director Robert McWhir, the little Clapham pub theatre has worked miracles with musicals, stretching out into areas that other comparable venues do not even dream of. But this time they have stretched themselves too far – a show performed on a synthetic surface described as “black ice”. The plot has got something to do with a princess under a curse that makes her skate around in circles looking quite nasty. Three handsome princes set off in pursuit and it would be much easier to explain plays by Pinter or Beckett than to detail the rest of it. The skating is abysmal, the singing is, well, patchy and the dialogue is littered with smutty double entendres. The songs are a mixed collection that don’t gel, but it is surprising when the princes burst into Agony (from Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods), showing us the heights that fairy tale musical theatre can reach. But, as the Landor gave us the wonderful The Clockmaker’s Daughter only a few months ago, such a demonstration is hardly necessary. The show is devised and choreographed by Nicky Scott and directed by McWhir, but I will allow the performers to remain unnamed. To put things into perspective, I have seen two shows worse than this in 2015, but only two. All that it left is to make the New Year wish that the Landor gets back on track in 2016 and brings us new delights that will consign this debacle to distant memory.

Performance date: 15 December 2015

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