Saturday, 11 December 2010

Belch...

30.11.10

‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme,’ said Mark Twain, once upon a time in history. The Cradle Will Rock is more like history repeating on itself, and bringing up a beautiful, echo-y belch; a release. I have to admit that, being an extra-macho, manly man, I was already sceptical about the genre; that musical theatre should try and tackle the serious subject of union busting in 1920’s America - workers’ solidarity in the face of uncaring and unrelenting greed - seemed absurd. And, to a certain extent, it is: but it works. Something like Bugsy Malone meets Noam Chomsky (or maybe Michael Moore), the humour only adds to the pathos, and never takes away. It’s camp as Christmas – there’s even a piano in the corner, tinkling out the pace with a ragtime, blues-jazz backdrop – but it’s very solidly acted and very self-aware. Above all it’s highly enjoyable; you’ll walk out with a big smile on your face, your still-tapping feet carrying you along in search of your nearest union organiser. I guess it’s all just a little bit of history repeating…

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