Anyone who enjoys a smart , witty musical with a good dash of comedy will enjoy THE SORROWS OF SATAN which is available to stream online for a limited period.
Filmed in the ballroom at the beautiful Brocket Hall, one of England’s finest stately homes, this musical play reimagines the story of Faust at the heart of a corrupt 1920s London, where the elite are financially and emotionally bankrupt and one man has a big decision to make…
Pretentiously avant-garde musical playwright Geoffrey Tempest has been kicked out of his accommodation with not a penny to his name. He has one chance to prove himself to the theatrical community: a rehearsed reading of his musical play, The Sorrows of Satan. When his patron, the devilish Prince Lucio Rimânez, suggests some significant changes, Geoffrey must decide whether to hold on to his artistic integrity (for what it’s worth) or sell out for the promise of fame, money and the love of his leading lady.
Its a real delight to see such smart lyrics and music keep an audience on its toes, and for laughs it delivers- there’s a kind of mounting lunacy as the writer buckles under pressure to mangle his own work at the lunatic whims of the Prince and it is by turns crazy and smart – often at the same time.
I saw it at the Tristan Bates Theatre in 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed it. The role of the Prince, played immaculately then by the brilliant Dale Rapley, was a highlight of the year in terms of performance, so much so that I am intrigued to see how anyone else could play it with such panache. It was obvious at the time that there was a future life for the show, but sadly it didn’t happen right then.
The Sorrows of Satan, loosely inspired by Marie Corelli’s 1895 controversial bestseller, is a musical play written by (and stars) Luke Bateman and Michael Conley (the team behind the recent Southwark Playhouse streaming hit, THE FABULIST FOX SISTER) and directed by Adam Lenson (THE RINK, PUBLIC DOMAIN and THE FABULIST FOX SISTER). Joining the writers in the cast are Stefan Bednarczyk (SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM and MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG) and Molly Lynch (Cathy in THE LAST FIVE YEARS and Anne Brontë in WASTED, both at Southwark Playhouse).
This new production manages to retain Stefan Bednarczyck from the original cast, who provides the musical accompaniment with enormous skill and style – it would be hard to imagine it done better by anyone else.
Intriguingly this production features the composer and book writer/lyricist in the two main roles. Undoubtedly talented as creators, I sincerely hope they are able to put across their work as skilfully as their predecessors, because at its best this is a show well worth seeing.
Tickets start from £13.
You can find more details, book, and see a trailer here
AFTERWORD Having seen the online version now, I can reiterate that it is worth seeing. It’s a slow-starter but builds, is sumptuously set and the performers work hard. Adam Lenson delivers his customary quality direction. It misses the reaction of an audience, but then doesn’t everything right now?