Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Band’s Visit @ Donmar Warehouse “The songs are witty, tuneful, and catchy. The story is light, funny, and heartfelt”…

Sometimes something comes along, that’s totally unexpected and equally a total delight. So it was with what Stuart and I saw last Friday night at the Donmar Warehouse in London’s glitzy West End.

The play, no not a play, a musical, that is small, modest, moving, and quite perfect.  

The premise is simple one. An Egyptian Military Police Orchestra are booking a flight to play at an new Arabic Cultural Centre in Israel. Only they get the name of the city wrong at the airport and turn up in a desolate place with a similar name in the middle of nowhere. Where they do end up has but a single restaurant and is in a quiet, dusty backwater of a quite desert.  

What then unfolds is a beautiful love story. I love story between two people (the excellent Moni Aboutboul and the fabulous  Miri Mesika), and between two peoples. The songs are witty, tuneful, and catchy.  The story is light, funny, and heartfelt. Think of it as a Middle Eastern Come From Away.   

The original US production of ‘The Band’s Visit’ stormed the 2018 Tony Awards and spent 18 months on Broadway. Which is pretty wild when you consider it’s a barely 90-minute musical with no interval, no dance routines, no power ballads and performed in Arabic, Hebrew and heavily accented English.  

If you get a chance, go see.

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