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13 March 2021

REVIEW|Treason the Musical in Concert

 'You won't get toleration, by killing your foes'


With the popularity of musicals based on historical events forever increasing, what with Six sharing the story of the wives of Henry VIII and Hamilton telling the story of the founding fathers of America, a new historical story is being told in the shape of the Gunpowder plot with the introduction of Treason the Musical.

This new musical with music and lyrics by Ricky Allan, which was filmed at Cadogan Hall, is  a new musical drama  using a mix of folk and pop style music to help to tell the historical story of the gunpowder plot. 

The cast of this concert has a wealth and experience of some of the west end's finest including the Nobility played by Daniel Boys and Cedric Neal, the Plotters played by Oliver Tompsett, Bradley Jaden, Waylon Jacobs and Emmanuel Kojo and the Peacemakers played Lucie Jones, Rebecca LaChance and Sharon Rose. Finishing the cast is the narrator Debris Stevenson, a poet, writer and performer, whose role was one of my favourites in the concert. The narrator role helps the audience to follow the story through the use of spoken rhyming verse, which flows perfectly throughout the piece.

The story being told during this musical is the story of the gunpowder plot, something which all English children are taught in school. As I'm not in my thirties, I didn't quite remember some of the details leading up to the 5th November, so I did definitely google a few things but that is fine as it's always more fun learning through musicals than through books. 

Treason centres around four plotters including the lead Robert Catesby and although he is mentioned Guido Fawkes isn't actually part of the show. For me, Treason is the background story of the plot that I was never taught in school, Six the musical taught me a lot about the six wives and Treason definitely taught me about the men behind the plot.

Whilst this musical is still in development, five songs were release previously onto online music platforms and this concert gave musical fans a better introduction to them in this world premier set of performances. My personal favourites in the concert were The Cold, Hard, Ground performed by Oliver Tompsett and The Promise performed by Daniel Boys and Bradley Jaden.

Daniel Boys as King James performs The Promise with all the sneaky villainous, slightly loveable "new king" energy promising that his reign will be everything the Catholics have been hoping will better their lives after living in fear and threat of death under Elizabeth I's role but spoiler alert...it didn't happen.

Oliver Tompsett's performance of The Cold, Hard, Ground was one of my highlights as he showed how versatile he can be in a song which shows true emotion as a man who believes he is doing the right thing and has nothing to fear or lose after the passing of his wife. 

As I said before, the show is still in development with hopes to convert into a fully fledged musical later into this year and this has definitely piqued my interest and I will definitely be ready to purchase a ticket. This is the only the beginning.

This show is available to stream on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th, with shows at 2.30pm GMT both days and evening performances at 7.30pm on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday, with tickets and information available HERE.

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