Newest Review: ... you know the story well, you may end up a little confused. The music is obviously French-influenced and fairly modern for a West End music... more
A musical spectacular?
Notre Dame de Paris
Member Name: Sootica
Notre Dame de Paris
Date: 07/09/00, updated on 07/09/00 (124 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap seats, good music and cast, energetic dancing, close to tube
Disadvantages: Alternates, Recorded music
The story is based on Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame and has played to packed theatres around the world.
The show is an amazing blend of dance, song and music. Many of the original *star name* cast members have left the show to be replaced by trained actors and actresses for the most part. In my opinion, this has improved the show no end, to have people who make a living from acting rather than performing brings more depth to the characters.
The dancing is spectacular, although it does sometimes detract from the storyline, leaving you watching the moves rather than listening to the words and then wondering what on earth is happening ten minutes later!
The set is kept quite simple with the wall backdrop being used constantly throughout the show.
I have some complaints though. Primarily the use of recorded music can get irritating, particularly when it is kept at one volume throughout the show. I don't know what the reasoning behind this but I think it was said that it is so the dancers can concentrate on the dancing rather than having to sing at the same time. The simple way around this would be to bring in booth singers - a common enough practise for shows that make use of a lot of dance and movement (eg CATS).
The other complaint is the producer's stubborn refusal to give information as to which members of the cast will be playing on a given date. The main cast perform at 6 out of the 8 shows, with alternates performing at the others. I am sure this will have affected advance ticket sales, primarily as they have tried to sell the show on the personnel involved. Their reasoning for the use of Alternates is that the show is Vocally Demanding, yet is it more demand
ing than that of any other West End show? I don't think so.
Still, given the situation with alternates it does mean you can get half price show tickets for the majority of performances. Also if you buy a £10 ticket and seats in front are free then the staff of the theatre will let you move! Even if there are no seats in front that are free, the £10 seats still have great views. Never be tempted to take a camera in though as the staff will get you, even if you only take pictures at the end in the Curtain Calls!
Even with all my complaints, if you are looking for a show that makes use of great, energetic dancing and good singing, then you will not go far wrong here.