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From Here to Eternity the Musical

November 2, 2013

What a calamity! FROM HERE TO ETERNITY THE MUSICAL by lyricist Tim Rice and composer Stuart Brayson at the Shafestbury Theatre felt like an eternity. I was squirming with embarrassment in my seat and dazed with puzzlement as this car crash of a production unfolded. Something has gone dreadfully wrong here. There must have been some serious artistic differences in the final weeks of the staging because nothing made any sense. It really felt like two or three separate productions at war on the same stage.

I fear that the show must have been running far too long in rehearsal so a series of compromises were made which meant that scenes have been badly spliced together. There has to be an explanation for this mess. One example is when the romantic lead couples are singing their hearts out and then the rest of the cast are bringing on the props for the next scene.

I have not seen the movie “From Here to Eternity” but this musical version feels far too like a very poor copy of Rogers and Hammerstein‘s SOUTH PACIFIC. There were a couple of pleasant tunes in there somewhere although quite unlike “South Pacific” I couldn’t hum one of them if you asked me. It might be possible to salvage this show by closing it in London now and then with some serious reworking get rid of some of the sub-plots open it in a remote city for a try-out. Although you could also think “why bother” and just close it.

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