28 February 2020

Blitz! at Union Theatre was joyous

I do not need an excuse to see a musical at Union Theatre having seen so many good ones there and my only problem is finding the time to do so. Blitz! was always on my radar and a visit from my sister (to visit Kew Gardens) was the spur to pick this evening and I dutifully bought three tickets at £22 each.

It was a change in personnel but the same plan; meet in the theatre cafe for a coffee while waiting for the box office to open, secure tickets in Group 1, go to Culture Grub to eat then back in time for the opening of the theatre and to claim seats in the centre of the front row.

All I knew about Blitz! was that it was by Lionel Bart, which was both a recommendation and more than I knew about other shows I have seen.

The first scene hit the ground running with most of the cast on stage singing as they sheltered from an air raid in an underground station. I almost always like songs with lots of singers and I certainly liked this one.

b.t.w. another play that I have seen, The Shelter, told the story of how Churchill was forced to allow working class people to have shelter.

The main story, possibly taking from Romeo and Juliet, was about two local families who argued constantly but two of the children fall in love with each other. A simple but effective premise.

A second theme was about another son who had gone into the army and was home for a few days before going abroad. He was a bit of a jack-the-lad and fell in with some bad people.

The blitz was the other main character in the story interrupting and destroying lives and giving the cast plenty of opportunities to sing anti-Hitler songs.

Having sent the scene quickly and successfully the musical moved forward joyously with plenty to enjoy in the story, the music and the performances. There was quite a large cast and they were called on to do a lot of dancing as well as singing. The movement was superb throughout, as was every aspect of this production. That was hardly surprising given that Phil Willmott's name is on the poster and I know from many past experiences that he creates great shows.

Jessica Martin, as the matriarch Mrs Blitztein, was the star of the show and lived up to that billing. She was more than ably supported by more people than it is possible to mention here. There were many characters in the play telling many little stories and they were all told with flair.

I had expected to enjoy Blitz!, mainly because of the various people involved in it, but it far exceeded my reasonably high expectations. It was simply joyous.

No comments:

Post a comment

All comments are welcome. Comments are moderated only to keep out the spammers and all valid comments are published, even those that I disagree with!