A review round-up for Hadestown at the National Theatre, London.
The production of Hadestown at the National’s Olivier theatre, London, has received rave reviews for its musical score and tight choreography “a musical feast”.
Created by celebrated American singer songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and director Rachel Chavkin, Mitchell’s concept album has been transformed for the stage.
The production aims to re-imagine the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice with a mixture of folk and vintage New Orleans jazz music.
The cast includes Sharif Afifi, Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Rosie Fletcher, Amber Gray, Beth Hinton-Lever, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Eva Noblezada, Seyi Omooba, Gloria Onitiri, Patrick Page, Aiesha Pease, Joseph Prouse, Jordan Shaw and Shaq Taylor.
Hadestown will transfer to Broadway when the National run finishes on the 26th January 2019.
Read a round-up of reviews below.
“There are some cracking songs in Rachel Chavkin and Anaïs Mitchell’s haunting journey through the underworld”
“The standout performance comes from Patrick Page who, as Hades, has a voice that seems to issue, appropriately, from the depths.”
“I’m not sure if Mitchell’s classical update imparts a palpable message, but her beguiling melodies linger on.”
Michael Billington, Guardian
“This Trump-tinged reworking of Orpheus has its moments — but burn some of the songs”
Christopher Hart, The Times
Greek myth meets the Depression in haunting musical feast
“musically it’s a feast — full of folksy melancholy and heartache, yet also packed with gospel, dirty funk and New Orleans jazz.”
“it’s tightly choreographed and genuinely inventive. Sometimes operatic and sometimes bluesy, it manages to sound seductively hushed one moment and rollicking the next.”
Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard
“Gloriously offbeat musical theatre staging of Anaïs Mitchell’s acclaimed concept album”
“Hadestown is not perfect, but it is really, really good. The wonderfully diverse songs of Mitchell’s expanded, virtually sung-through soundtrack are the bedrock.”
“A few bits and bobs don’t work, and it’s a shame Orpheus is one of them, but quibbling over such a joyously different musical feels pretty churlish. Just go along with it – and never look back.”
Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out
“enjoyable winter-warmer that’s a near myth”
“Those seeking “value for money” can’t complain given that they’re treated, over more than two hours, to song after well-sung, well-crafted song, a bumper-pack of bluesy, folksy, jazzy material that does the soul good to hear it. Or can they?”
“Mitchell’s through-sung approach squeezes out opportunities for richly character-defining dialogue. Her lyrics often come not from psychologically detailed personae but from the show’s collective spirit of story-telling”
Dominic Cavendish, Telegraph
“An enjoyable, engaging Hadestown at the National’s Olivier Theatre”
“the journey of the story is both enjoyable and engaging . . . which, as Hermes concludes, is in one respect the whole point of retelling any familiar tale.”
Ian Shuttleworth, FT
‘stunning new folk opera’
“Superb retelling of the ancient myth set to Anais Mitchell’s folk score”
Tim Bano, The Stage