WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHERE?: Cadogan Hall, central London
WHEN?: 13 March 2021 (matinee), final show 14 March 2021
Fireworks? Or bonfire bound? Treason – The Musical is still in development and this concert version is performed brilliantly and shows many sparks of potential.
- Read on for reasons including how this starry West End cast contributed to the staged concert’s success
It’s been 91 days since our last West End show (Pantoland at the Palladium) and the May return of live theatre can’t come soon enough for us although this socially distanced retelling of the events leading up to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 with original music and lyrics by Ricky Allan filmed at the beautiful Cadogan Hall was enjoyable.
Guy Fawkes may not have appeared but this focused on the relationship between the Plotters and the Peacekeepers with the division between husband and wife Thomas and Martha Percy well explored.
The undoubted highlight was a showstopping When I Am King by Daniel Boys (Falsettos, Other Palace) as King James which took its cue from Hamilton‘s King George Britpop number You’ll Be Back. It was given extra frisson by King James’ enthusiasm for the athletic form of Percy complete with man bun and not in period costume.
We particularly enjoyed Boys’ chest shimmy during this song which felt more Drag Race than musical theatre but suited the moment perfectly.
Elsewhere Percy duet Blind Faith was clever in exposing Lucie Jones’ (Waitress, Adelphi Theatre) devotion to her husband while Bradley Jaden’s (Les Miserables: The Staged Concert, Gielgud Theatre) attention had wandered elsewhere.
Oliver Tompsett (& Juliet, Shaftesbury Theatre) seized the chance to shine during the dramatic Cold, Hard Ground as plotter Robert Catesby.
Concert versions of unfamiliar musicals can sometimes be difficult to follow as was the case with the recent Gatsby – a musical, also from the Cadogan Hall, and Treason benefitted from the fine Debris Stevenson as a much-needed narrator
Elsewhere Cedric Neal (The View UpStairs, Soho Theatre) was memorable as the Earl and, while we didn’t feel the Hamilton feels were overpowering, we can understand why comparisons have been made with Treason.
The score is perhaps best described as a fusion of English folk and pop songs and artists including Hadley Fraser and Rosalie Craig (Before After, Southwark Playhouse) have recorded versions available now on streaming services.
Musicals are costly endeavours and investment opportunities are available for the full production of Treason which is expecting to light up as a full production later this year. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
In the meantime remember, remember Treason – The Musical because it deserves to visit a theatre near you in its fully realised form and soon.