Monday, October 31, 2011
I last saw Chess a musical by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, formerly of ABBA, and with lyrics by Tim Rice in London in 1988. Mirvish has put on a UK production which is a totally new staging of this classic musical. It was decidedly more risqué and openly sexually than I remember it. The staging was interesting with the orchestra as totally on stage and in interesting chess costumes. Chess is a bit dated given it has cold war themes, but the new staging makes it seem somewhat current. You either love this staging or hate it. I thought the staging was way to busy. The orchestra often blocked views of the main action. The singing was good, but it was impossible to follow the plot line. Overall this production needs work before going to London's west end.