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Hadestown - The Review




This production of Hadestown is a triumph of song, story and stage. It tells the stories of the Ancient Greek Gods and Humans: Orpheus and Euryidice, Hades and Persephone alongside a stellar narrator in Hermes. While to those that are classic illiterate this might sound daunting, trust me, no prior knowledge is required. Set in a post-apocalyptic, New Orleans depression era, you'd also be forgiven to assume that this would be odd. However, all the elements intertwine seamlessly, especially with Anais Mitchell's stunning music, to create a harmonious delight for the eyes and ears. So brilliantly, the Original Broadway Production won 8 Tony Awards in 2019, including Best Musical and even the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Having previously seen the Broadway production, with the phenomenal Reeve Carney and Eva Nobleazada as Orpheus and Eurydice, I was worried that their British counterparts would struggle to keep up. Grace Hodgett Young, plays a strong and hardened Eurydice, which plays off beautifully against the tender and naïve Orpheus (Donal Finn). Unfortunately both somewhat struggled vocally. Yes it was opening night, so a lot can be forgiven, but I do feel the higher range required from Orpheus is just not within Finn's capabilities, despite how luscious his mid and lower ranges are. The standout performances of the night belonged to Hermes, Hades and Persephone, played by stage legend Melanie La Barrie, Zachary James and Gloria Onitiri respectively. La Barrie's comedic timing is impeccable as she narrates this old and sad tale, while James' deep booming voice and despotic Hades plays off perfectly against the frivolous, fun and slightly soused Persephone.



The true passion for the show was evident in the excellent team work between creative and production teams. The biggest accolade goes to Anais Mitchel who wrote the mesmerisingly euphonic music and lyrics, inspired by her book based on this modernised classic Greek tragedy. With Rachel Chavkin directing and Mara Isaacs producing, the trio have created an almost perfect, poetic musical, that I hope will continue like the infinitely cycling love of Hades and Persephone. The score is New Orleans style jazz, which oozes sensuality and progresses through to frenzied carnival-esque moments, with the highlight being Wait For Me.



The set of Hadestown, centred in the depression era, starts simple, but expands to a mechanical steampunk factory as we descend into the underworld. The moment this transformation happens is one of the best transitions I have ever seen in musical theatre; the gasp from the audience spoke volumes - simply awe inspiring .


In summary, Hadestown is a triumph, it is the epitome of great musical theatre, a show I will see again and again. I urge you to do the same.


Tickets are available at https://uk.hadestown.com/ or even £30 lottery tickets on the TodayTix app. Music available on all good streaming platforms.



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