Before I become obsessed with the name of the writer below the title, I would buy theatre tickets for the name of the stars above. I am ashamed to say I saw Equus for Daniel Radcliffe. I think I saw it with my boyfriend at the time. The bar was full of young girls over dressed and drinking cokes. However, I fell in love with the play. The backwards story. Shaffer found a newspaper article and worked backwards to find out the why. I would have seen Amadeus because it was being streamed. I wanted to see Amadeus because it was written by Peter Shaffer.
Like Equus, this is a fictional account of real events. I thought Amadeus was a composer in his own right not realising that a certain Mr Mozart’s full name was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. God, I hope that comes up in a pub quiz. Unfortunately, I have never heard of Antonio Salieri which seems about right. Even the story of Salieri’s life and death is so intertwined with Mozart’s his own play isn’t named after him. Or is it a musical?
A production about composers would need the odd musical number and it is lovingly provided by the Southbank Sinfonia! They were hypnotising to listen to and to watch.
They were the gossip and whispers of Salieri’s fate, they were the party on New Year’s Eve, they were the heartbeat of a green-eyed Salieri. They were more than their instrument. At one point, they provided finger sucking sound affects! They were almost as good our two leading gentlemen.
Lucian Msamati, playing Salieri, is our humble narrator through 1781 and all the music, power and jealousy. He literally uses his singing to take us there. It was a magical journey. He is serious, stern and doing the lord’s work. Did you know the lord speaks to us through music? It was news to me too. Salieri is quite the opposite of Mozart.
Adam Gillen was fucking brilliant! There are no words. He made Mozart punk rock and vulnerable.
This is a play about opposites. Title versus talent. Old versus new. Loud versus sombre. There was much laughter in the awkwardness of these things clashing in a specular fashion. I was not expecting that. Speaking of fashion, Mozart wears loud clothes and Doc Martins. He stomped on the traditional ways. I imagine this is what the 1970s felt when the 80s came around the corner with their big hair and big clothes. That’s funny because Mozart turns up in the 80s, 1780s. That’s one way to end a review, by explaining a joke.