Monday, 28 March 2016

Bank Holiday treat

We all rose late this morning, and after lunch, embarked on an outing to Southerndown for a brisk walk on the beach. On the way out of the city, there were long traffic queues of people going into town, for some afternoon's shopping maybe? The beach wasn't crowded, and the only rain shower came as we were making our way back to the car. 

After an early supper, we went to the Millennium Centre for the premiere performance of a musical called 'Only the Brave', telling the story of people, soldiers, spouses, and resistance members caught up in a key exploit of the D Day campaign in 1944, aiming to capture a strategic inland river crossing at Caen in Normandy. An unusual theme, which took nine years from conception to the Edinburgh Fringe festival first performance, and another eight years from that to a full stage musical destined for a West End theatre. Clare was not well enough to come with us, so our little row sadly had an empty seat. She would have loved this night out.

The stageing was superbly imaginative, the singing and movement brilliantly executed and the pacing of the two and a half hour show, with one interval never dragged, though the sound levels weren't as good as they needed to be in some early scenes. The music was reminiscent of 'Les Miserables', and to my mind the production was half an hour too long, and some of the song set pieces seemed superfluous or in need of editing down for better impact. But just to make something on this scale to work as well as it did on its first night was a credit to all involved. It was a moving tribute to the humanity of the people who gave their lives to liberate Europe from the tyranny of Nazism although not quite what I'd expected to be doing on an Easter Monday evening.

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