Vienna: the music capital of the world.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy it. Seized by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music and, ultimately, with God.
-National Theatre Summary of Amadeus
I went to the Savoy Cinema here in Nottingham the other day to watch a live broadcast of Amadeus. My friend Freya had been wanting to go and see it for a very long time and so me and our little Albion crew all decided to go and see it one night.
It’s kind of a thing we do- as well as with the alternative film society Dark Celluloid at UON every Sunday. Which reminds me that I have something else I want to review too.
I don’t really know what I was expecting. But upon arriving and seeing that we among the minority of old people: young people ratio it became clear that a lot of the older generation had gone to see it.
My vague impression would have been that it would be a rather stoic and professional play- something that I would come away from feeling a lot more cultured… as well as sleepy.
But that was not the case at all.
Instead I was hit with crude comedy, beautiful music numbers and poo jokes?
And lest I forget the love story, ups and downs, musical showdowns and generally an ecstatically upbeat performance!
I was taken aback at first by Mozart’s character in the play, completely the opposite to how I had imagined the historical figure. But Adam Gillen did a fantastic job, the amount of energy needed for his role was incredible.
I must also comment on the eccentric and amazing outfits. Seriously, Mozart’s clothes were aesthetic goals! And I picked up on the fact that the cast were pretty much all wearing DM’s throughout the performance.
So yes, it was a mishmash of the past and the present colliding all at once. Interestingly put across through the perspective Salieri whom in the documentary short that preceded the broadcast we are told the play was originally to be titled and who is mainly shaped around. In that sense the actors and the producers comment on the irony that even in a play centred on him, Mozart had still managed to steal the limelight.
Salieri (played by Lucian Msamati) was also an intriguing character. He would literally do anything to stick in peoples memories music wise. Even if it meant breaking apart a musical genius just so that he could prevail.
I really liked the ending too, in a melancholy way. Peter Schaffer did a great job on really getting Salieri’s unrelenting character across- the audience is tricked into believing that after feeling remorseful for Mozart’s untimely death that he is done scheming. But oh no the greatest irony is seen in
the suicide scene at the end with his ploy being that he would claim to be Mozart’s murderer and retain eternal life as a historical figure.
Only problem? Nobody believes it and quite frankly nobody cares.
Anyway I give this performance 5 stars- and might even read the play and read up some more on the history surrounding Mozart. If so I will definitely do a follow up post.
Thank you as always for taking the time to read my humble thoughts,