THE MONGOL KHAN
17th Nov – 3rd Dec 2023
“This lavish, large-scale production, with an ensemble of over 70 performers, has run for over 100 performances in Mongolia. Based on historical events, the show explores Mongolian culture and history through music, dance, dialogue and puppetry, with elaborate sets and costumes, all inspired by traditional nomadic culture and tradition.
Mongolia 2000 years ago. A brutal succession battle threatens the very stability of the Empire. As the great Khan struggles to maintain his supremacy, a plot hatches that will forever alter the balance of power.
This spectacular production celebrates 60 years of Anglo-Mongolian relations and cultural exchange. Bordered by China and Russia, Mongolia is one of the world’s best kept secrets as a travel destination for adventure-fuelled people and lovers of luxury alike. Captivating, rugged expanses, stunningly beautiful landscapes, a vast unspoilt wilderness, extremely welcoming people and nomadic tribes with rich traditions, Mongolia has it all. The Mongol Khan serves as an introduction to this country and its history to give would-be travellers a taste of the culture and history.
The Mongol Khan has all the ingredients of a classic tragedy. Jealousy, mistaken identity, adultery, rivalry, sacrifice, succession and the struggle for power. The stability of an Empire is at stake and the story culminates in an epic battle. It’s a multi-sensory feast, the like of which audiences will never have experienced before.
The Mongol Khan was written in 1998 by renowned Mongolian writer and poet Lkhagvasuren Bavuu and was revived in April 2022 at the Mongolian State Academic Theatre of Drama directed by highly-acclaimed Mongolian director Hero Baatar. The production has taken inspiration from historical events, archaeological findings, traditional nomadic dances, and the music of the ancient Hun culture of Central Asia from the Hunnu Empire period, and is produced by Hero Entertainment, Wild Yak Productions and Maktub Productions.”
Review by Richard Lambert, 3 Stars
There is a lot of opera “feel” about this production. It’s huge, fills the stage, 100s of performers, not in English, sub-titled and there’s a death or two.
It’s often been said that people go to Opera not to enjoy it, they go “to be seen to be going to the Opera” and you can discuss what you have or haven’t seen over dinner with friends.
Well at least with Opera, the music is generally awesome.
Here you’ve got repetitive ideas from the director, repetitive staging and choreography, bulky costumes that look like they’re rolled up in persian rugs and so you can’t really see the dancers dancing, and masks so you can’t even see their faces. Honestly, you couldn’t make this up!
The music starts great and sets the atmosphere but then continues exactly the same. It’s like being stuck in a roller coaster queue at a theme park for two and a half hours. And the story isn’t any more interesting than a roller coaster queue. The story isn’t even true, it’s been made up. So why hasn’t something been made up that’s a lot more interesting eh? It’s a sort of very thin “Blood Brothers meets King Herod” story.
There was a finale megamix which was terrific. Loved it! And most likely the finale and walkdown was the best part of the show. The masks came off and you could see their faces. So much acting can be told with visible faces – who knew? Please someone have a word with the Director!
So what was good about this show?
Take one look at the photos and you can see that the lighting was absolutely awesome! The lighting never stopped serving tableau after tableau. Perfectly matched to the staging, blocking, sound effects and musical nuances. It literally is the lighting that rescues this show. I loved it! The lighting designer (Andrew Ellis) is actually the star of this show!
Full shout out to the sound (David Gregory) and video also. The 3 departments take an incredibly dull story and have created this epic spectacle.
With the entire show spoken in Mongolian and sub-title displays giving a few clues here and there as to the plot, this will likely be a tough sell to your friends as a recommendation. But, if you look at the pictures you might still want to go and see it. Having said all that, the audience did give a standing ovation at the end! Maybe big is best after all.
Take out a lot of the repetition, add a change of pace here and there, add a story, take off the masks, make this a 70 minute show, and it might just work.
Photo credit: Katja Ogrin
Trailer 1 Click here
Trailer 2 Click here
1st Preview Friday 17 November 7pm
Saturday 18 November 7pm
Wednesday 22 November 7pm
Thursday 23 November 7pm
Friday 24 November 7pm
Saturday 25 November 2pm & 7pm
Sunday 26 November 2pm
Wednesday 29 November 7pm
Thursday 30 November 7pm
Friday 1 December 7pm
Saturday 2 December 2pm & 7pm
£15-£110 (Fri 17 Nov, All tickets £30)
£12.50 ticket for under 16s with full price adult
max 3 discount tickets per full price ticket
in person or over the phone
IN ADVANCE: £20 best available in price levels £55 & £35 only ON THE DAY: £15 best
available in Dress/Upper Circle
£15, teachers free
10 +: £75 reduced to £60,
£65 reduced to £50 & £55 reduced to £40
20 +: £75 reduced to £55,
£65 reduced to £45 & £55 reduced to £35
Tickets available from 020 7845 9300
www.londoncoliseum.org or in person at the venue.