London | 2h 30m | Already closed

Hadestown (London)

From 9 critic and 5 member reviews
Members say: Great singing, Great staging, Entertaining, Resonant, Relevant

About the show

Singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and director Rachel Chavkin reimagine the ancient tale of Orpheus and Eurydice as a timeless allegory for our world in this new musical. More…

"Hadestown" follows two intertwining love stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of king Hades and his wife Persephone — as it invites audiences on an epic journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s alluring melodies and poetic imagination pit nature against industry, faith against doubt, and love against fear.

2h 30m | Already closed | Olivier Theatre (London)


85
Variety

"It’s a good time show for bad time times, a hoot that hits its political points hard...Mitchell sticks close to the original myth, fleshing its slight narrative out in song, but she soaks her score in contemporary Americana. It functions like a folksy, old patchwork quilt, pulling musical influences in from across the land...It’s Mitchell’s music that makes 'Hadestown.' Infectious without trying too hard to be catchy, her songs heat up as the show heads down to hell." Full Review

85
Time Out London

"'Hadestown’ is not perfect, but it is really, really good. The wonderfully diverse songs of Mitchell’s expanded, virtually sung-through soundtrack are the bedrock...It is a musically thrilling, lyrically eccentric articulation of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth that has gratifyingly little to do with musical theatre convention...It’s a brilliant staging of an album, but nonetheless, the characters and plot are wholly contained within the relatively impressionistic songs." Full Review

80
The Guardian (UK)

"Whether you call it a folk opera, a hip oratorio or a musicalised myth, it boasts some cracking songs that far outweigh its dramatic shortcomings...Chavkin’s production, even in a large space, preserves the rough theatre elements that are part of the show’s charm...I’m not sure if Mitchell’s classical update imparts a palpable message, but her beguiling melodies linger on." Full Review

80
Financial Times (UK)

"Mitchell and her co-adapter, director Rachel Chavkin, cleverly weave in the story of Hades and Persephone...Mitchell’s songs incorporate elements of blues, New Orleans jazz, and rock...The lyrics and book are, however, less impressive...Yet a similarly informal aesthetic becomes a virtue in Chavkin’s direction. She creates a feeling of organic freedom...The journey of the story is both enjoyable and engaging." Full Review

80
The London Evening Standard

"A defiantly original musical. Its story is thin, transposing the well-known Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to Depression-era America. But musically it’s a feast...A show that’s lush and haunting, even if overlong...The topical significance, especially in the song Why We Build The Wall, won’t be lost on anyone...With its emphasis on mood rather than action, this is the sort of show that risks being labelled portentous. But it’s tightly choreographed and genuinely inventive." Full Review

80
What's On Stage (UK)

"Its cleverness – and it is a phenomenally smart show – is that it takes that age-old story and makes it spark in many directions...Its brilliance is to take those ideas and set them – in Chavkin's truly inspired production – in a kind of Depression-era speakeasy...Chavkin makes joyful use of the many variants of the Olivier's revolve...Her always stylish direction is massively assisted by David Neumann's energetic but finely honed choreography." Full Review

80
Daily Mail (UK)

"Here is one of the great lost-love tales of all time. If it falls a little short in this jazz musical, that is because the whole enterprise is a touch too hip for characterisation or humour to flourish. But this is a show with plenty of spectacle...Despite a certain level of nonsense, the show trots along and has a handsome swagger." Full Review

60
The Telegraph (UK)

"An evening of evident cohesion...The journey at times threatens to feel interminable...Elaborate drama is in scarce supply. Mitchell’s through-sung approach squeezes out opportunities for richly character-defining dialogue...Before the stinging, melancholy payoff, an almost deadening repetition creeps in that Chavkin’s beautifully lit and propulsive production can’t quite mask...The show finally delivers the heart-stopping goods, but is it fully achieved yet?" Full Review

60
Metro (UK)

"It oozes cool...The gothic-tinged, old country blues and jazz of Mitchell’s expressionistic score played with laid-back élan by an on-stage band. It’s unusual for a new musical to feature songs that feel like ready-made classics: this one has them in spades. The problem — and it’s a big one — is Mitchell’s book, which overloads the original myth with crude 21st-century relevance...The sepulchral funk score is a blissed-out delight, but it can’t overcome the show’s dramatic shortcomings." Full Review


100
Masterful, Romantic, Relevant, Resonant, Riveting

See it if Two love stories entwined with an incredibly inclusive cast and music that stays with you for days.

Don't see it if Don't like stories revolving around mythology, or double love stories.

78
Relevant, Great staging, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if There were some great moments in the show full of emotion and any change to see Eva and Amber should be taken. Very cool set design!

Don't see it if The concept of the wall seemed a bit too of the moment if that makes sense- like the creators didn't trust the audience to make connections

72
Resonant, Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if See it if you like pop rock/folky operatic productions with wonderful staging and singing.

Don't see it if You don’t care for modern musicals based on Greek myths.

Also The show was better in the second half. It seemed to settle into its t... Read more Read less

97
Delightful, Must see, Great singing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You want to refresh your memory on Greek mythology while listening to engaging Blues and Jazz music score. Well cast and fabulous stage

Don't see it if The mix of blues, jazz, folk and indie with pop does not appeal to you.

80
Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You like reworking of Greek myths, wonderful music and acting, clever staging.

Don't see it if you are annoyed by a rather confused picture of Hades, and the insertion of current political points.


Cast & Creatives (26)