A witty interpretation by Jane Darby of Peter Shaffer's original Amadeus showed the students of Marlborough College strutting around in extravagant tailcoats, pale faces, and artfully authentic wigs. It was a hair tingling mixture of laughter at the flamboyant attempts of Mozart (brilliantly portrayed by Charlie Perry) to gain place for his music, empathy as the young Salieri (Ivo Devereux) showed us his steady transition from a sane musician, into a jealously ridden, manipulative old man (Nikolai Navrozov), and tut-tutting as Mozart's wife Constanze (Alice Campbell) showed us Mozart's strange habits in their relationship.
The performance not only had a roaring cast, but also aced all other aspects any good play must meet. The sound was top quality, which in a play about two of the greatest musicians in history, is a very important factor. The lighting was extraordinary, with a fantastic use of spotlights, in the scene of Mozart's death especially. This mixed with the sudden dramatic black outs that ended each scene more abruptly than any bang could have, managed to keep the audience on their toes the whole way though. The animations that went on throughout all the main scenes also added to the whole effect, and were a lovely, imaginative touch. There was also the slight bluish tinge to the lighting that was especially prominent in the scenes centered around Mozart, and Old Salieri's madness. That, combined with the angles thrown up by the changing lights gave the whole thing a slightly tingling edge, which shone through in the final scene.
The play started with a scream, and ended with a cackle to raise the hounds, and may I personally, be one of the doubtless many to commend the cast, and their terrific director Jane Darby on a performance not to be forgotten!
Charlotte Russell (MO Sh)