15th July 2015
The Mission Theatre, Bath
Zenith Youth Theatre’s production of this Stephen Sondheim musical is an enjoyable Roman romp. Pseudolus (Marcus May), Senex’s slave, yearns to be free. He plots to bring this about: a deal is struck with his master’s son, Hero (Owen Bazeley). If Pseudolus can win Philia (Molly Dallimore) for Hero, he will be rewarded with his freedom.
Marcus May brings out Pseudolus’ wry humour. Fellow slave Hystorium (Marcus Kendall) reluctantly assists. May and Kendall have good on stage chemistry and provide much of the laughter. There are some genuinely funny moments as the snappy dialogue is delivered enthusiastically.
The song and dance set pieces are enjoyable: choreography, costume and the sheer size of the cast add to the spectacle.
Some singers stand out: Charles Hollingworth as Miles Gloriosus belts out his numbers. Some songs lack punch but the ensemble pieces are powerful.
The staging is effective: white backdrop, Roman columns and drapes combined with a mosaic flooring – all very Romanesque.
The pace in the second half builds to the frenetic speed typical of farce and the young cast are energetic and enthusiastic.
An enjoyable night out.
(c) Samantha Coughlan July 2015