Man of La Mancha (West End) Review


Kelsey Grammer – Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote
Danielle de Niese – Aldonza/Dulcinea
Nicholas Lyndhurst – Innkeeper/Governor
Peter Polycarpou – Sancho Panza

Venue: London Coliseum

Date: Saturday 27th April 2019 (7:30pm)

Man of La Mancha has not been on the London stage for around 50 years and becomes the latest musical to have a brief stay in the London Coliseum which is the English National Opera, the production was put together by that along with Michael Linnit and Michael Grade.

The only thing I really knew about this musical before seeing it was that The Impossible Dream (The Quest) is the big number from the show. A truly outstanding song, so I was certainly looking forward to seeing that unfold. Especially with Kelsey Grammer being the actor to get that song with his very unique and powerful voice.

We have two stories wrapped up in one as Miguel de Cervantes has been put in prison and is  attempting to plead his case to the Governor and inmates in order to get his possessions back. By doing this he must tell them a story and that is when we meet Don Quixote and are taken on his adventure and pursing a princess Dulcinea.

We have the writer telling his story which is an unfinished novel and that is then combined with musical numbers. I have to admit that I really did find this confusing and was struggling to get what exactly was going on at times.

Sometimes that is the downside of having the lack of knowledge about a production before going to see it, I had no idea about this show. I am guessing a lot of people will feel the same considering it has been 50 years since it has appeared in London. From what I have now read they have made quite a lot of changes to how it was done before, so I feel a little bit better about being confused at times.

I will admit that I really wanted to see the show for a chance to see Kelsey Grammer on stage and it was brilliant to see (and hear) him. I mean come on he certainly does have one of the most recognisable voices around right? It was also just as pleasing to see Nicholas Lyndhurst on stage, who is pretty huge in the UK in all honesty. Due to mainly Only Fools and Horses, my personal favourite being as show called goodnight sweetheart. I felt as though he stole the stage when he was on it with his trademark comedy, mainly by the way he walks. Being in a musical certainly a very different challenge for him! Danielle de Niese certainly does have a very impressive voice and stage presence, I found myself very impressed with this.

I guess overall I found this show to be a rather difficult one, in terms that it was tough to watch and deal with at times as I just was a little confused with the story. I felt as though the prison parts were not needed and we could have just had the actual story and the novel? If anyone else has seen this west end production I would love to know what you thought! This is only running for 6 weeks at the London Coliseum.

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