Chess The Musical is currently back on tour in a new production. I’m not a fan of chess the game, but I love a bit of Bjorn and Benny. The score has several of the best musical numbers ever written (I Know Him So Well and Someone Else’s Story). Here’s the promo video for the current show:
A noticeable point is that the musicians are on stage throughout, this is increasingly becoming a trend in musical theatre and I feel it adds to the “spectacle” of a show, and as a musician I enjoy seeing the musicians playing their instruments rather than being buried beneath the stage. I mention this in my review of Dreamboats and Petticoats.
As for the creative teams decision to focus more on the relationship and “sex it up”, as opposed to focusing on Chess and the Cold War, I can understand their desire to adapt it for a 21st Century audience. Whether it works or not, I’ll reserve judgement until I see it. A knowledgeable insider from within the Chess world thoughts can be read here.
The Producer, Michael Harrison, doesn’t seem to committal about bringing it to the West End, perhaps if it’s a runaway success touring they’ll be persuaded. It will be interesting to see how the decision to sell it under the creative team rather than placing a name “star” in it works. I’d have thought they’d have wanted at least one of the leads to be a known name.
If any of you do see it, please let me know what you think of the production. The current tour is going to Sheffield, Salford, Cardiff, Bradford, Southampton, Nottingham, Norwich and Plymouth.
While researching for the above video clip, I stumbled across this pastiche of Chess that I think you’ll enjoy.