DEATH NOTE THE MUSICAL in concert
7th to 10th Sep, 2023
“Based on the best-selling Japanese manga series of the same name by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata/Sheuisha, this ground breaking musical (Winner Best Musical, Korea Musical Awards) has a score by Frank Wildhorn (‘Jekyll & Hyde’, four years on Broadway, ‘Dracula’, ‘Bonnie & Clyde’) with lyrics by Jack Murphy and book by Ivan Menchell.notebook owned by Ryuk, a mythological god of death. Discovering he can kill anyone by just writing their names in the supernatural notebook, Light takes justice into his own hands by filling the notebook with names of the nation’s most wanted criminals. But a detective only known as “L” is soon tracking him down… Based on the best-selling Japanese manga series of the same name by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, this ground breaking musical (Winner Best Musical, Korea Musical Awards) has a score by Frank Wildhorn (‘Jekyll & Hyde’, 4 years on Broadway, ‘Dracula’, ‘Bonnie & Clyde’) with lyrics by Jack Murphy and book by Ivan Menchell.”Light Yagami, a bright but dissatisfied high school student in Tokyo comes across a discarded
Review by Richard Lambert, 5 Stars
It’s been a long time since CHICAGO erupted as a concert back in 1975 on Broadway, and hasn’t it done well since. Exposing the American legal system with its villains and lawyer characters gaining infamous celebrity status, it radically voiced anti-establishment opinions and resonated around the World.
DEATH NOTE THE MUSICAL in concert feels familiar in taking something of cultural signifance to a nation, this time Japan with it’s cult following of the Manga series, Death Note, and creating a theatrical concert. I suppose it feels like a concert when the majority of what you see on stage could come from a theatrical hire company, to be returned next week, with very little bespoke pieces. And for a show that has such a limited run this makes loads of sense. However, once the concert starts it no longer feels like a concert – with Justin William‘s set design of verious platforms, levels, entrances, steps and performance areas, there is a full urban landscape to navigate. It’s really quite excellent!
The lighting by Ben Cracknell is stunning and superb! Putting the right mix between concert and musical theatre the lighting expands and contracts to shift between the wow-factor and the emotional drawing into the story. It’s organic and sympathetic to the story. The photos illustrate the powerful addition of Ben’s lighting to the show’s success.
The costumes by Kimie Nakano are over the top cartoon’ish and feel like the comic strips have actually come alive! So much fun crosses the footlights with these costume designs.
The 1st half sets the characters and the story. It felt a little pedestrian in it’s staging – a lot of “park and bark” direction for the singing, but thankfully, the closing number of the 1st half “Where is the Justice? (Reprise)” sees Nick Winston, Director and Choreographer, showing what a great choreographer he is. The 2nd half maintains the energy in both the direction and choreography and the show continues to build and becomes breath-takingly fabulous!
Musical director Chris Ma, sensitively leads the 16 x piece band through it’s rock opera songs and ballads. He doesn’t look anyhere near old enough to have amassed the huge West End credits showing on his CV. So impressive! I’m a sucker for ballads, I loved Mortals and Fools!!! and have since found a recording online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieFsUj1XHGI)
Joaquin Pedro Valdes stars as Light. Fabulous acting with vocals to die for, Joaquin is one to watch and a leading light in the West End! With so many shows these days cutting down on cast sizes it’s reassuring to see that this new musical has a full complement of cast and they all looked and sounded incredible!
I think we can all hope that this European premiere production comes back with a longer run. And wouldn’t it be fantastic if this inspires an entire catalogue of new musicals to be written about other international cultures and fashionable popular trends.
Photos by Mark Senior
Olivier award-winner George Maguire, Jessica Lee, Carl Man, Boaz Chad and Patrick Munday last night joined the cast of Death Note THE MUSICAL in Concert at the Lyric Theatre.
The rest of the cast continuing from the three sold out performances next week at the London Palladium includes Aimie Atkinson, Rachel Clare Chan, Christian Ray Marbella, Dean John-Wilson, Joaquin Pedro Valdes and an ensemble featuring Charlotte Coggin, Jade Copas, Eu Jin Hwang, Yojiro Ichikawa, Deena Kapadia, David Kar-Hing Lee, Jasmine Leung, Jojo Meredith, Marcel Li-Ping, Janine Somcio.
Creative team:Director and Choreographer Nick Winston Associate Director and Choreographer Alexzandra Sarmiento, Costume Designer Kimie Nakano Musical Supervisor Katy Richardson Musical Director Chris Ma Orchestrator Jason Howland Designer Justin Williams Lighting Designer Ben Cracknell Sound Designer Ben Harrison Casting Harry Blumenau Artwork by Rebecca Pitt Creative Producers Carter Dixon McGill Productions, Indie Theatrical, HoriPro Inc., Pinnacle Productions in association with Greg A. DeLuca, Sharon Azrieli and Wild Yak Productions
Carter Dixon McGill Productions, Indie Note THE MUSICAL in Concert Music by Frank Wildhorn, Lyrics by Jack Murphy, book by Ivan Menchell ©️Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata/SHUEISHA, HoriPro Lyric Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue London W1D 7ES Thursday 7 September – Sunday 10 September at 7.30pm matinees Friday 8, Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 September at 2.30pm running time: 2hrs 20 including interval age recommendation: 12+ Tickets from £25 Booking link:www.nimaxtheatres.comWebsite www.deathnotethemucial.co.ukSOCIAL MEDIA Twitter @DeathnoteLDN @ CDMProds @frankwildhorn Facebook @frankwildhorn Instagram @DeathnoteLDN @frank.wildhorn TikTok @DeathnoteLDNTheatrical, HoriPro Inc., Pinnacle Productions in association with Greg A. DeLuca, Sharon Azrieli and Wild Yak Productions present Death