This spring, King’s Musical Theatre (KMT) brings to us the touching, glitzy and spectacular musical: Chorus Line. The winner of many awards, Chorus Line revolves around the story of a group of dancers who audition for a new Broadway production directed by Zach. For them, these auditions present the chance of a lifetime, the chance they’ve always dreamed of…the chance to dance.
As auditions for the new show go underway, we hear the dancer’s confessions. Sometimes melancholic, at other times ironic and comic; these are all recounted through delightful tunes, enthralling drama and intense choreography. It is through these mediums that we learn about their dysfunctional families, ambitions to fame and dread of failure. Although each a different story, they all share a powerful passion for dance and this culminates to the celebrated final number, One, where we delight in seeing the dancers perform in spectacular unison. Chorus line’s director Michael Bennett’s original concept was to make us aware of the individual cogs in the grand dancing machine and he definitely achieved his purpose.
As we learn each dancer’s past and ambitions, we become emotionally invested in their performance and share their ecstasy and tension. There is innate drama as the group steadily whittles down to the final eight and we are constantly left on edge as to who will make it to the final. Based on real life stories and taped interviews with dancers, it is perhaps this which makes their accounts so gripping and real.
In particular, we feel tensions arise between the director Zach and the lead Cassie; once romantically linked with Zach, she left him and their tempestuous relationship for a job in Hollywood. After being made redundant for over a year, she’s desperate to work even if it means being part of a chorus line directed under her ex. Whether Zach is going to remain professional or let the past hinder the present remains to be seen.
The characters’ emotions and inner turmoil are also outwardly and beautifully represented through dance and music, Sheila describes how she danced ballet to escape domestic conflict and this is reflected by the others who melt into a soft evocation of classical dance, Cassie described as ‘too good for the chorus’ by the director, expresses her desperation through spiralling movements.
Vibrant, sentimental and compelling, there’s a reason why Chorus Line is the longest running musical in New York theatre history.
Director Patrick Bone said of his experience as part of KMT’s ‘Chorus Line’ ‘It’s been a privilege to be working on one of the most iconic shows in musical theatre, and that’s not an exaggeration. I’ve always wanted to put it on ever since I arrived at King’s, and I’ve been lucky to work with such a talented cast and creative team. It’s going to be a truly unforgettable spectacle, and by far one of the most visually incredible shows the Greenwood has seen yet! The talent can easily be of West End standard in my eyes, so catch them now before they get famous!’
While, Roshani Abbey (cast member, who plays the iconic role of Cassie) said: ‘A Chorus Line is one of those productions that very rarely comes to London, even though it’s so iconic! The choreography is fantastic, and every character has an engaging story to tell! Who knows when else you’ll be able to see this legendary show, so this is a must see honestly!’