I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle
I Capture the Castle based on the novel by Dodie Smith Book and lyrics Teresa Howard music Steven Edis

Wednesday, 21 May 2008


Well, my information about the plot of the musical was quite wrong! Armand was not a Nazi at all and Marguerite was not a Jewess! From the hint that Boublil and Schonberg gave about the show, this was what I had imagined was the story... In fact the father figure from Dumas' Lady of the Camelias, was translated into the character of Otto, a Nazi, and the artist Armand was into a pianist. The essential ingredient in the book is that Marguerite has to make a moral choice about whether to stay with Armand and she chooses not to. In this story, without giving too much away, choice becomes blackmail, which brings the best musical moment in the song: THE LETTER, sung by Marguerite and Otto.

There were some surprisingly wonderful performances by the younger members of the cast including Simon Thomas as Lucien and Annalene Beechey as Annette, Armand's sister. Julian Ovenden's (Armand) voice was glorious and Alexander Hanson was quite terrifying as Otto, the Nazi, although he also shows his humanity through his twisted love for Marguerite. Ruthie Henshall is a beautiful Marguerite.

Jonathan Kent's direction is superb as always and he also collaborated on the book, along with Boublil and Schonberg. I would be very interested to know which were his contributions. I particularly liked the physical theatre element of the direction which added a contemporary dance element to the musical and I think there could have been even more of this. This is a very French musical, with songs that have the feel of Parisian street singers.

I think you have to go and see it and make up your own mind about this brave and fascinating show!

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