A little knight music creates an intriguing night at the theatre. Aida, music by Elton John and Tim Rice, is based on Verdi’s opera of the same name.
Running for just over 100 minutes I suspect there has been some editing but if so it did not detract from the story. Starting and finishing with a day at the museum, it tells a tale of romance and political manoeuvrings in and around Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs.
After a campaign in Nubia, the captain Radames (Luke Millard) is attracted to one of their captives who is a Nubian princess but he does not know this when he tries to treat her like a slave. His father is Zoser (Jordan Shepherd) is the Pharaoh’s Chief Minister who has arranged for his son to marry the Pharaoh’s daughter Amneris.
To help speed up the process of succession, he is slowly poisoning the Pharaoh.
The attraction of Radames to the slave/princess Aida is central to what unfolds.
The cast are aged between 14-17 years of age and cope with some challenging music very well and build up the palpable tension to the climax.
Aida is played magnificently by Tanya Bridgeman and she is equally at home with singing and acting. Emma Anderson as the Pharaoh’s daughter does not have such a likeable part but she handles it well and has one solo that was outstanding.
Luke Millard, the captain, got stronger as the show developed and the scenes between him and Aida were very credible.
Getting to grips with the dialogue early on is very important and the actors need to be at their best from the off.
Young people playing older characters is always a challenge and I think that some greying of hair or some other way of disguising the youth of the actors would add to the audience’s investment in the plot.
The direction and lighting was particularly good and there were some inspired moments to savour.
Zach Mann caught the eye as Mereb who has one or two humorous lines in what is a sad but intriguing love story. Worth catching in its short run - it's ‘Written in the Stars’.
Show times: Runs to 14 Aug, 7.55pm
Tickets: £5.50 concessions £4.50 kids £3.50