Review: The Glorious Ones - Landor Theatre, London


Monday 12th March 2012: Flaminio Scala is the founder of a Commedia troupe in 17th Century Italy. He brings together his lover and leading lady, Columbina; the eternal father Pantalone who craves to be the lover; young aspiring comedian and actor Francesco; aspiring playwright Isabella and comedy sidekicks Armanda and Dottore. 

The set is minimal in the intimate space of the Landor Theatre, with hanging lanterns and a small wooden stage assembled for the troupe's performances. 

Photo by Mitzi de Margary
Flaminio, played by G4's Mike Christie, was the perfect character, clinging to his role of the lover as younger Francesco learnt from him. Christie made his musical debut in the part and although he was perhaps not as strong as possible, he was by no means weak and his performance was memorable. 

Kate Brennan was fabulous opposite him as Columbina, stealing the show with her stunning voice and driving Flaminio and Columbina's relationship forward. Her rendition of My Body Wasn't Why was flawless and she had the audience in the palm of her hand. 

Lusting after the Columbina was Pantalone, played by Peter Straker. Whilst the character was perhaps underused, Straker shone and had a wonderful stage presence that no one else could quite replicate. Alongside him in a woeful tale of unrequited love was Jodie Beth Meyer as Armanda, who would do anything for Flaminio despite the fact she was never noticed. Meyer was very strong in the part, balancing humour with jealousy perfectly. 

New lovers Francesco and Isabella, played by Christopher Berry and Anouska Eaton, were brilliant in drawing the production together and driving the troupe forward and their version of Opposite You was stunning. 

David Muscat played the comedy doctor Dottore, but was horrifically underused and although Muscat seemed strong individually and in the group numbers, he was rarely given the opportunity to really prove it. 

As an ensemble, the cast worked brilliantly together and the show was full of life, laughs and brilliant songs as the troupe brought the Italian Renaissance's Commedia Dell'Arte ('comedy of craft') to a 21st Century audience. 

Review by Louise Miles

The Glorious Ones

Landor Theatre
70 Landor Road

Box Office: 
020 7737 7276

Nearest Rail/Tube: 
Clapham North (Northern Line)
Clapham High Street (BR)

Tuesday 6 March  – 
Saturday 7 April

Tuesday –  Saturday 
at 7.30pm

Saturday & Sunday 
matinees at 3.00pm. 

Press night 
Monday 12 March
at 7.30pm

No performance Tuesday 13 March

Tickets: £18.00 (no concessions)