Sunday, 24 February 2013

Freddie Davies in The Secret Garden at King's Head, Islington

For fans of Freddie Davies within reach of London, the happy news that he is currently appearing in The Secret Garden at the King's Head, Islington, on Saturday and Sunday nights until Sunday 17th March. Click here for more details and to make a booking. The performances are at 7.15 but there is also one matinee performance at 3.00 on the last day.

Freddie is recreating the role of Ben Weatherstaff, the gardener, which he played in the original RSC production at Stratford which transferred to the Aldwych in 2001. The King's Head production is a concert version, so dancing is out, but on the plus side you're very close to the cast, who make good use of the limited space: there are effective moments as they walk through the audience.

I'm not the greatest fan of the singing style in some modern musicals but even I could appreciate that the singing was top notch throughout (no amplification either) and that the songs were about revealing character, advancing the story. There were several musicians onstage, too, so it wasn't just a piano backing. The orphaned Mary is a resolutely un-cute Ana Martin, and Freddie has a particularly affecting moment in Act 2 when, in a beautifully judged speech, he recalls her mother.

I have to declare an interest, as I am acquainted with several of the cast, but there is another review here and here, and you can find more online.

Read an earlier post about Freddie Davies here

Photo credit for above: Claire Bilyard.

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