Pauls Review Archives
“Magical Tommy’s a dream of a show”
I was dazzled by a show that was the brashest, flashiest, most sexual-most altogether beautiful -incarnation of Tommy so far.
As a deep admirer of the original Tommy story, I feel this version came closer than any previous interpretation to realising Townsend's original dream.
But, more than that, it was quite simply a brilliant, magical theatrical event. The story of the little boy who is struck deaf, dumb and blind at the sight of his father’s brutal murder still has the power to bring a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye.
Strong Inadvertently, of course, by West End stage standards, this production is lavish almost to the point of vulgarity. But then rock and roll never did have much to do with prissiness and understatement.
There are dazzling, scorching lasers, vast back projection screens, huge scaffolding towers, dry ice-the works. The success of this production is proof, if proof were needed, that the genius of Townshend's masterwork transcends period:.
Review by John Blake
by Alexander Afinogenev Directed by Paul Tomlinson
Greenwich Studio Theatre
Sparkling .... Stunning .... Intelligent .... A strong piece ....
Brilliant .... Exceptional ....
TIME OUT CRITICS' CHOICE
The Miser Dancing at Lughnasa Blue Remembered Hills
Top Girls Distant Point
… brilliantly captures the poetic yearning of a simple community .... Eleven characters are finely drawn, softly blending into a bolder portrait of nostalgia tinged with disappointment, a future corrupted by fear, a present full of intangible hope ....this fragile idyll is presented with wonderful simplicity.... passionately reinvigorating, this is a rich production of a beautiful play.
.... excellent .... warmly rekindles the spirit with a commitment befitting the revolutionary theme. London theatregoers that have caught recent productions of Gogol or Chekov could be forgiven for thinking that Afinogenev had visited another Government Inspector on a Chekovian scenario of characters yearning for Moscow and a piece of the action .... an infusion of Socialist spirit with a capital 'S' and a glimpse of what might have been had the train not been derailed at that, now, distant point.
When, in 1926, a carriage carrying a Red Army General, his wife and aide de camp is stranded at a tiny, remote station on the Trans-Siberian Railway the villagers of Distant Point seize upon the General as hero and prophet.
… Alexander Afinogenev presents a detailed microcosm of Russia in the euphoric, formative years following the Civil War.... this exceptional production .... of detailed human emotions caught in a flux of momentous changes .... has great humour and generosity of spirit and these Tomlinson and his excellent cast evoke beautifully in a memorable production.