Glory Ride Reviews

Reviews are coming in for brand new musical Glory Ride at the Charing Cross Theatre in London.

The show has had its world premiere at the Charing Cross Theatre, and is running until 29 July 2023.

Based on a true story set in Tuscany during the Second World War, Glory Ride is about famous Italian athlete Gino Bartali, who was a Tour de France winner in the 1940s, and considered the second most famous man in Italy after Mussolini.

His cycling achievements on the Alps and Pyrenees were legendary, but until recently, few knew that he risked his life by saving hundreds of people from fascism during World War II. 

Written by Victoria Buchholz and Todd Buchholz, the production is directed by Olivier Award-winner Kelly Devine (Come From Away) and stars Josh St. Clair (Frozen, City of Angels, Wicked) as Gino Bartali, with Amy Di Bartolomeo (Six, Bat Out of Hell), Fed Zanni (Mamma Mia! The Party, Head Over Heels), Daniel Robinson (Heathers the Musical, My Night with Reg), Ruairidh McDonald, Ryan Bennett (Heathers the Musical), Peter Watts (Macbeth, UK Tour), Jamie Coyne, Loris Scarpa (Once in Concert), Susanna Paisio (Una Mendicante Cieca Cantava l’Amore, Teatro dei Sensibili, Milan), Steve Watts (As You Like It) and Alice Spigariol.

The show’s creative team includes Richard J. Hinds (Associate Director), Dave Rose (Musical Director), PJ McEvoy (Set, Costume & Video Designer), Rob Halliday (Lighting Designer), Jen Green (Orchestrations), Harry Blumenau (Casting Director) and Federico Bellone (Italian cultural adviser).

Read reviews for Glory Ride, below, and more reviews are to be added as they come in.

Photos by Marc Brenner

Book Glory Ride tickets at the Charing Cross Theatre in London

Glory Ride reviews

The Times

"A musical sprint through the life of Gino Bartali"

"Glory Ride — written by the former senior White House economic adviser Todd Buchholz and his daughter Victoria Buchholz — puts Bartali’s story in the spin cycle, animating his astonishing biography with songs and snappy dialogue."

"It’s a great idea, executed with enough energy to power the most reluctant cyclist up a mountain, yet the upbeat script can feel frustratingly thin and the lyrics are wildly variable."

"Josh St Clair brings dash, derring-do and dynamism to the role of the man who teamed up with the anti-fascist Cardinal Dalla Costa to smuggle messages to the resistance, saving the lives of hundreds of Jews."

"Currently any attempts at a Hollywood depiction of Bartali’s life remain unfinished; on this evidence someone should take it to the finish line."

Rachel Halliburton, The Times
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The Stage

"Lacks dramatic texture"

"Old-fashioned and underpowered production saluting the heroic Italian cyclist Gino Bartali"

"Unfortunately, this fully staged world premiere fails to capture much of the political intrigue or emotional weight of Bartali’s story, which has been accented with an equally uninspiring and derivative score. The linear narrative lacks dramatic texture, despite some truly tragic events. And, apart from a couple of powerful solos from Amy Di Bartolomeo as Bartali’s love interest and, later, wife Adriana, the songs are generally underpowered."

"Kelly Devine’s rather stilted directorial debut does little to enhance the book and seems light years away, in terms of energy and invention, from her choreographic work on Come From Away."

"Josh St Clair strives to deliver an earnest, three-dimensional portrayal of Bartali and certainly projects a steady, stoic charm. Yet the book simply doesn’t allow the actor a huge amount of range, either emotionally or vocally."

Paul Vale, The Stage
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What's On Stage

"There's something simultaneously depressing and inspiring about watching a bunch of terrifically talented people trying to make theatrical magic out of intractable material."

"It's such a strange story that it could only be true, and the knowledge that this really happened is the main thing, apart from the performances and the clarity of director Kelly Devine's staging, that makes this well-intentioned but inept musical worth the watching, and gives it a couple of moments of genuine emotional punch."

"It is undoubtedly an extraordinary story, but as a musical, Glory Ride gets repeatedly bogged down in overwrought emotions, underpowered writing, and peripheral characters."

Alun Hood, What's On Stage
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📷 Main photo: Glory Ride - Josh St. Clair as Gino Bartali, Amy Di Bartolomeo as Adriana Bani. Photo by Marc Brenner

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