By Dale Wasserman

Music by Mitch Leigh

Lyrics by Joe Darion

NODA Review by Frank Wooles

The Players' spring tour staged a beautiful, well-devised and directed production of the Man of La Mancha for one night only at the St Peter's Hall, Cardiff in March. This powerful musical tells the story of Don Miguel de Cervantes and his servant Sancho Panza imprisoned for debt at the time of the Spanish Inquisition. He relates tales of his fictional character the Knight Errant, Don Quixote, which are then played out by his fellow prisoners, and for his love for Aldonza whom he calls Dulcinea. Dying he conveys to the girl man's spiritual need for illusions and dreaming the impossible dream. A towering, well-sung performance by Neil Davies presented a Don Quixote of many facets and emotions with Paul Buckle finding humour and pathos as his loyal squire, Sancho. Aldonza was delightfully played and beautifully sung by Rhiannon Rose and in this impressive cast there were fine support performances by Nigel Holloway (Captain/Padre), Chris Chedzey (Duke/Dr Carrasco), Mike Gaccon (Governor/Innkeeper), John Tomala (Barber/Jose) and a wealth of expert and colourful cameos. With simple rostra setting, skilful lighting and good costumes and properties - all from within the company - the atmosphere and squalor of the prison was effectively created and played out with good character and polish by a company who remain on stage throughout and never ceased to react and interact as part of a well-honed team. Cast and company handled with ease and quality the attractive but complex score, safe under the baton of Ceri Jones, to make this memorable evening of fine theatre and a huge success for Concept.

 

Originally published Autumn 2002

 

 

The Dubbing

 

"effectively created and played out with good character and polish by a company who remain on stage throughout and never ceased to react and interact as part of a well-honed team."

 

NODA