Great singing, Cliched, Entertaining, Great staging, Funny
About the Show
The Gipsy Kings and John Cameron's musical adaptation of the story of the infamous masked crusader.
Set in 1805’s California, a town is under attack from its tyrannical leader. When the danger is at its greatest, El Zorro appears out of nowhere and saves the lives of many!
Through murderous encounters, flamenco and music, 'Zorro' tells the story of the hero behind the mask. Featuring international hits by Gipsy Kings including Bamboleo, Baila Me and Djobi Djoba, as well as original music.
A co-composition by John Cameron and a new Adaptation by Christian Durham.
A young cast of actor-musician-flamenco dancers clatter enthusiastically through a tale that’s jokily slapdash one minute, breast-beatingly po-faced the next. They bring more polish to the show than it deserves. There are more Hispanic clichés than you can shake a castanet at.
Durham’s production is a celebration of storytelling and he has gathered a diverse and multi-talented cast to pull it together. Benjamin Purkiss has the presence and stamina to master the title role. His Diego is a quick-witted clown, but in hero mode as Zorro, Purkiss oozes charisma.
Okay, it's not Les Mis for all the parallels, but there’s plenty of scope for fun and a bit of exotic otherness – and, it must be said, wobbly Spanish accents. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t, which, if you’re going for a runtime of well over two and a half hours, is hardly unexpected.
And yet, despite some dramatic shortcomings, this stage version of Zorro delivers entirely what is expected of it: epic romance, stimulating swordplay and an almost unsettlingly heavy dose of onstage fire, all while musicians among the cast punctuate it with European musical flair – I doubt audiences will be leaving the Charing Cross Theatre dissatisfied after watching this masked musical.
The whiff of hamminess is never absent from the Zorro films and here both script and performances are endearingly alive to a sense of the ridiculous...The problem is that, aside from swaggering masculinity, the characters of the duelling antagonists feel more flimsily set up than the plywood facades of a spaghetti western.