Kelsey adds some Frasier flair to Quixote
Man Of La Mancha (London Coliseum) Verdict: A decent tilt at the old windmill
MAN Of La Mancha is a nest of tables. Originally a Tv play, later musicalised, it imagines a scenario in which Miguel de Cervantes is tossed in a dungeon by the Spanish Inquisition and undergoes a mock trial.
The writer defends himself by staging a dramatisation of his Don Quixote story, with himself in the leading role. So think of it as the musical of the teleplay of the book within the play within the fictional courtroom drama.
english National Opera is staging the piece in the West end for the first time in 50 years. And who is belting it out as Cervantes and Don Quixote? Kelsey Grammer.
People familiar with the unhinged karaoke flavour of his singing might have feared for the Frasier star. Yet he even carries off The Impossible Dream. Grammer relaxes on it, stopping short of the full Shirley Bassey. Also on board is Nicholas Lyndhurst, another sitcom refugee. But, as he stalks James Noone’s cavern of a set, Lyndhurst’s leathercoated, cosh-wielding Governor is a thousand miles from Rodney Trotter.
Danielle de Niese is powerful within the thanklessly clichéd confines of Aldonza, the harlot. Peter Polycarpou is a companionable Sancho Panza. A longer version of this review appeared in earlier editions.