Assassins - Menier Chocolate Factory

Ever thought you could have something in common with an assassin?

This show has been getting buzz since it was announced months ago.
With it's star-studded cast of Broadway and West End vets, it was guaranteed to be a good one.
And let me tell you - IT IS.

Assassins is a musical that tells the story of nine folks who attempted (some succeeded) to take the lives of the Presidents of the United States.
It takes you past the guns and to the people - what they thought, what they felt;
their side to the story.

Narrated by the Balladeer and the Proprietor,
they play a sort of 'good angel,' and 'bad angel' throughout the show.
The Proprietor puts on a sickening of sorts carnival style game of the assassinations,
while the Balladeer sings their stories as he proclaims his disagreement with their reasoning for murder.

There are moments in this show, though.
Moments of sincere shock - where you almost feel for these characters;
understand them.

"You want what everybody wants. To be appreciated. To be valued.
To be in other people's thoughts.
For them to think of you and smile. "

To be able to create a show of the most horrifying of people,
and allow us to find a commonality with them to be able to sympathize is a tremendous thing.
Something I personally never thought was possible.
And that is one reason why it is such a wonderful show.


Performed inside the Menier Chocolate Factory, a space that seats only 180,
there is an incredible intimacy within the show.
You truly feel apart of the story - 
all the way through to the end, when those 'lucky' few get the chilling experience
of staring death in the face.

Aaron Tveit is an obvious standout in this show - taking a complete turnaround from the 'all-American charmer' we all know and love him as, he takes on the role of John Wilkes Booth exceptionally well,
executing the great angst, hate, and passion that's brewing inside him.

Catherine Tate is another stunner as Sara Jane Moore.
From her inability to handle a gun to not having a clue about what is going on in her life,
she brings a needed comedy to this eery production.

Simon Lipkin, however, is the one to watch.
He keeps the show moving while changing characters to an extreme degree.
From the haunting Proprietor, to a gentle President Ford,
even to an assassin's young child,
he is incredibly impressive to watch - and truly showcases his abilities as an actor.


Overall, this was one of the best shows I have seen this year.
I will defintely be going back again ... and again.

I mean, the show doesn't officially open until tomorrow and I've already seen it twice.
Do I need to give you any more proof?

Assassins runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory until March 7.
Performances run Tuesday-Sunday 20:00, with matinee performances on Saturday & Sunday at 15:30.
The running time for this show is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes with no intermission.


Where The Heart Is - An American in the UK. Theme by STS.