Death Takes A Holiday at the Charing Cross Theatre
Maury Yeston’s Death Takes A Holiday is to say the least an intriguing musical mainly due to its theme. Death comes to Earth in human form as a debonair, matinée idol looking man and takes on the role of Prince Nikolai Sirki. His main aim to take a vacation from his role of playing Death and learn about human emotions and feelings. So when he meets Grazia he finally starts to fall in love with her and this brings the inevitable clash of duties.
This is a magical and at the same time macabre musical lavishly staged where strong songs have fabulous narrative qualities. The vocal talents of Zoë Doano as Grazia and Chris Peluso as Sirki are exceptional and their ranges in handling the songs, as they produce crescendo after crescendo, is haunting. Each has super control with this operetta.
Death Takes A Holiday is also a formulaic musical comedy and if Yeston has been influenced by the likes of Rogers and Hammerstein, Schoenberg and even Marvin Hamlish, this is no bad thing. The comedy is quaint and actually very camp. This show is pure escapism and hugely entertaining, and if you like musicals where the power of attraction can be a dangerous thing and the need of redemption is essential to survival, this is a show for you.
Death Takes A Holiday runs until 4 March at the Charing Cross Theatre, The Arches, Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NL. Tickets from charingcrosstheatre.co.uk.