La Cava - 6 January 2001

I thought I would get just one more trip in before it closed and it certainly was worth it.

There have been some changes since I last saw the show. I will Hold you and Little Girl have been restructured with the latter being made it into a trio. It worked well and ‘I will hold you’ seemed more realistic now than before where Somal wouldn’t kiss Florinda as they weren't married. 'My dream came true' has altered as Agon now sings between the King and Queen's sections. After the King has left with his words of 'There is no suffering in death', referring to why he did not have the Queen executed for adultery, Agon tries desperately to reassure the Queen that he will always be there for her as her devoted servant.

I saw most of the cast from last time with the exception of Julian Espitorias, Tariq and Agon. I had hoped to see David Bardsley again as Julian but he was off and Chris Mellon played the role. He played the part well although a couple of the top notes were just out of his range. Some parts I felt he was a little stilted but overall he made a good Julian. Jordi Guitart played Tariq and though no fault of his own he looked too young for the part and although he had a nice voice it was a little too light for Tariq. It was suspending belief a bit to see him as Somal's father as he looked only old enough to be his brother. He played the part well it was just visually for me that it didn't quite work. My favourite song from the show is 'What would you do for you child' and both Jordi and Chris did it justice

I think the performance of the show for me had to be Paul Keating's Agon. He played the part of the Queen's servant brilliantly, portraying a whole range of emotions from the frustrated at having to keep track of the girls in the palace, the burden of knowing the King was betraying his Queen and his devastation as she decides to end it all. The death scene was particularly moving as in his grief he decides to follow the Queen into death. The whole contrast to this was as he came on at the end he literally bounced on to the stage !!!

It is such a shame that this show is to close. The whole cast put so much energy into the performance, there was no sense of 'we're closing so let's not bother'. I enjoyed it immensely and knowing the music now enhanced this enjoyment. The performances are all strong, will excellent voices and the staging it still as effective as ever. As happens when you see a show again so much more subtle elements are seen in all characters, not just the main ones. This was the first time I have seen something from the front row and being so close just brings you so much more into the show.