REVIEW | A Chorus Line – Curve, Leicester

A Chorus Line changed the game in musical theatre when it premiered back in 1975 on Broadway. Described as the ‘anti-musical musical’, A Chorus Line is stripped back to basics – no costumes, no sets, no interval. Just an ensemble with one dream – to be a star on broadway.

A Chorus Line tells a simple but intriguing story of 17 young hopefuls auditioning on an empty stage, desperate to get their time to shine on Broadway. Only 8 will make the cut. The musical delves into tales of childhood memories, teenage mishaps, love and anguish as the dancers compete for a spot. Intertwined with the big ensemble numbers we know and love are the sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious tales of how each dancer made it to where they are today and their hopes and dreams going forward. These stories can resonate with audience members from all walks of life, not just dancers.

Curve always do a phenomenal job when it comes to staging and directing both new and revived works. They do not disappoint with this production. Whilst keeping the iconic simplicity of the piece intact, Curve have managed to give the piece a breath of fresh air with some subtle but exceptionally effective additions. The orchestra rig upstage, the changing area and the mirrors all add an extra dimension to the staging without drawing attention. Clever use of videography gives the audience an up close and personal view of the staging from multiple angles, giving the piece incredible interest and depth. The most impressive aspect of the design is most definitely Howard Hudson’s lighting which is moody and mesmerising throughout, most notable in the dazzling grand finale.

The cast is strong and entertaining, engaging the audience throughout. Standout performances for me were from Ainsley Hall Ricketts as Paul San Marco and Charlotte Scott as Maggie who were both exceptional storytellers. The ensemble moments in this musical are real highlights and this cast dances Ellen Kane’s new choreography beautifully. The final performance of ‘One Singular Sensation’ left the audience stunned as every brilliant aspect of this show – lighting, design and choreography – come to life in this impressive glittering grand finale.

Curve’s Christmas production of A Chorus Line is a beautiful and absorbing retelling of this classic game-changing musical. Catch it until 31st December 2021. For tickets and info click here.

Production Images by Marc Brenner

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