Quote Of The Day

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

Friday, November 24, 2023

Stranger Things : The First Shadow @ Phoenix Theatre...

Last night Stuart and I went to see a preview of new play Stranger Things : The First Shadow at the Phoenix Theatre in London glitzy West End. 
Set in the world of 1959 Hawkins, Indiana 20 years before the first series of the Netflix sci-fi phenomenon, this new live production follows existing characters Jim Hopper, Bob Newby, Joyce Byers (nee Maldonado), and Henry Creel when they were all younger.
The play is written by series writer and co-executive producer Kate Trefry and directed by The Crown's Stephen Daldry with co-director Prima Facie's Justin Martin. In addition the piece is also jointly written by Jack Thorne. And it blooming shows. It owes a enormous debt to Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. Huge. 
No spoilers, obviously, but the setup is this... a new student, Henry Creel arrives, and his family find a fresh start - which isn't so easy. A shadow of the past has a very long reach.
Indeed, the beginning of Stranger Things may hold the key to the end. And what a beginning it is! My goodness, the first 10 minutes almost literally blew us out of our seats. Brave, inventive, immersive, and visually stunning. In fact it is so good, the rest of the 3 hour running time struggles to quite match it. But it makes a good go of it.
Plotting aside, the show's greatest credit goes to its technical staff who pull off a blinder. This is a sci-fi fantasy show after all. There are majestic scene changes from the real world to The Upside Down, delightful visual and physical special affects (and special they are), and stunts that would put any Bond film to shame. And the sound. Boy, the sound. It's epic.
Beware though, it's not exactly a show for kids - there is blood and gore galore.
The show also comes with a glowing endorsement - from Matt and Ross Duffer no less, who are the creators of the Netflix series. "The cast of Stranger Things: The First Shadow is nothing short of phenomenal."  And I have to agree. The acting is top notch.
Yes, it's a bit Grease at times, and, yes, the plot and special effects are strikingly similar to Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, but it's a wonderful show.  The long running time just flew by.
So if you like Stranger Things you'll love The First Shadow.

@stonstage #StrangerThingsOnStage 

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