Review of 'Camelot in Concert'

camelot.jpg https://lwtheatres.co.uk/whats-on/camelot-in-concert/

I am not entirely familiar with Lerner and Loewe's classic musical “Camelot” which is not entirely unexpected given that it is only rarely performed nowadays. The opportunity to experience Camelot in a one-off concert performance at the Palladium I could simply not pass up and I am very glad I didn't.

Camelot follows the legend of King Arthur (David Thaxton) beginning with him meeting his wife, Guenevere (Savannah Stevenson) through to his forming of the round table, Lancelot (Charles Rice) joining the table and the disaster when his illegitimate son Mordred (Sam Swann) returns and brings Arthur's dream of peace and his loving relationship with his wife to a tragic end. The first half of the musical is dominated by fun and humour with the second half taking a dramatic turn to one of hopelessness and despair with only a small sign of hope at the end with the introduction of the next generation.

The stage was dominated by The London Musical Theatre Orchestra with a small area in front where the performers stood at podiums along the front of the stage with physical copies of the libretto that they carried around with them. Despite being a concert performance there was a good amount of the story ingeniously acted out simply in front of us but really the focus here was on the music which was absolutely tremendous.

Thaxton's voice was wonderful and tender. Stevenson, despite a touch of vibrato (which somewhat grates me) had a perfectly sweet voice which is unsurprising given her previous role as Glinda in Wicked. Rice whose background is in opera had a voice that utterly overwhelmed the auditorium whenever he sang leading me to think he could just have easily have not had his voice amplified though his voice was absolutely wonderful and full. Clive Carter, as Merlyn and Pellinore, played these wise yet quirky and humorous roles to great effect. The London Musical Theatre Orchestra were absolutely amazing, perfectly judging the mood in their dynamics without dominating the show.

A full house and rousing standing ovation at the end showed their appreciation for an amazing show. I can only think that several of those older people around us who seemed to fall asleep in the performance were exceptionally tired. But, in any case, here's hoping we may see a revival of this fun and somewhat bittersweet musical in the near future.

Rating:

Review Date: 2018-10-06



London Palladium

Location: London (England)

Address: Argyll Street, London England, W1F 7TF

Public Transport: TUBE Oxford Circus

Telephone: +44 (0) 844 412 4655

URL: https://lwtheatres.co.uk/theatres/the-london-palladium

The grand old daddy of London theatres, the Palladium has a long and illustrious history of Vaudeville, pantomime, the Royal Variety Performance show (held yearly as a “command performance” for the royal family), “Sunday Night at the London Palladium” live television show as well as big modern musicals including the Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Access to the theatre is simple as it is immediately adjacent to Oxford Circus and on a quiet side street that is (normally) vehicle free. The interior of the theatre is magnificent in a classical way having been recently restored.