Spring Fever…

In the oppressed surroundings of Hammersmith, Spring Awakening has come to life on the Lyric main stage. After more than a year in search of the perfect cast, the eagerly anticipated show opened on 3rd February, and last Saturday I ventured out to see it. The Lyric’s modern context for a Victorian theatre makes it the perfect venue; a reverse metaphor for the show. And the show itself? Simply, one of the most refreshing I have seen, ever. I ask, could this be the future of musical theatre?

Spring Awakening takes the genre to a whole new level, handling a comedic yet tragic story so beautifully and successfully in an altogether modern and never-quite-seen-before style. The music is fantastic, indie-rock, appealing outside of its show soundtrack bounds; the cast grabbing hand-mics from their pockets as they break out of their 19th-Century confines into an electic altrock concert .  The superb, young, fresh-faced and hugely talented company benefit from leading lights Sian Thomas and Richard Cordery playing the various adult roles. Iwan Rheon (Moritz) has an overwhelmingly beautiful voice with a sharp, rugged edge not dissimilar to artists such as Paolo Nutini and Damien Rice. Aneurin Barnard (Melchior) is an outstanding actor, carrying his story with great sensitivity to the character. Charlotte Wakefield (Wendla), a wonderfully innocent and gifted performer, with Jamie Blackley (Hanschen), Jos Slovick (Georg) and Harry McEntire (Ernst) some of the most notable and splendid of the remaining cast.

With an emotive second act and an inspiring finale, this is a true journey not only for the characters (or indeed audience) on stage, but equally for those in the seats who are carried on an emotional passage. If you don’t see this show, you will certainly miss the theatrical opportunity of the year.

See a video sample here: http://whatsonintheatre.blip.tv/file/1753565/

theatreJunki © 2009

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