Last week, Theatre Trip had the chance to see Preludes at Southwark Playhouse in the heart of London! Preludes was written by Dave Malloy – the three-time Tony Award nominee and writer of Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. This production of Preludes was directed by Alex Sutton, and it was a show unlike anything I’ve seen before.
Location: London, England
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Our Experience Seeing Preludes at Southwark Playhouse
Preludes is based on the life of the legendary composer Sergei Rachmaninoff as he struggles with relationships, writer’s block, and mental health. It all begins with an interaction between Sergei and his hypnotherapist, which sets the mood for the entire show. Although the role of Sergei “Rach” is played by the mesmerizing Keith Ramsay, the role of Rachmaninoff is played behind him and almost entirely at the grand piano by Tom Noyes.
This creates a beautiful clash between Sergei’s seamless music and the torment that he experiences in his mental space. There was something extremely special about the classical and poised nature of Tom Noyes in contrast to the unraveling and dark nature of Keith Ramsay.
The role of Dahl is played by the stunning Rebecca Cane – who was so convincing as a hypnotherapist that I started to feel like she was my own. There’s even one song/therapy session towards the end of the night that does a brilliant job of nearly putting the audience into a relaxing semi-trance. Another fun surprise was getting to enjoy Cane’s gorgeous operatic voice during the second act.
Everyone involved in the show brought the highest possible level of talent to the stage. Georgia Louise played the gentle Natalya, Steven Serlin the role of The Master, and Norton James played Chaliapin. Together they create a beautifully tight and chemistry-filled company.
There is something special about getting to see a Dave Malloy musical. And this one is an especially unique experience. In Preludes, you’re watching a show about a legendary 20th century composer that was written by a legendary living and breathing composer of our own time. If you’re looking for a hypnotizing evening of fresh musical theatre, this is your best bet.
Quick Tip: Southwark Playhouse also has a full bar on site! So you can always arrive to the show early and grab a drink (or stay for a while afterwards and mingle with the other theatre-goers).
Have you ever seen Preludes?
Or do you plan on seeing this production of Preludes at Southwark Playhouse? Let us know in the comments! And in the meantime, you can always check out our blog post archive of past theatre visits for even more insight on what’s going on in theaters around the world!
* The featured image is by Scott Rylander.
* A special thanks to Southwark Playhouse for inviting us to the show!
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Author: Stacy Karyn
Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theatre, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.