Review: Symphony to a Lost Generation, Kings Theatre, Southsea

Surprising imagery in Symphony to a Lost Generation

Surprising imagery in Symphony to a Lost Generation

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Ambitious? Absolutely. Ground-breaking? Quite possibly. Slightly disappointing? Afraid so...

Billed as the world’s first fully holographic dramatic production, this show aimed for epic proportions but ended up at times looking something like a PlayStation game from hell on a big screen,

The reqiuem mixed ballet, drama dance and symphony to recreate the nightmare of the first-world war and its chilling effect on the men who fought it, their loved ones, and the generations that followed.

The sparse audience, around 50 I’d guess, were advised to sit centrally in the stalls to gain the best three-dimensional effect.

But whether the set-up was awry, or the technology was not up to it, it would be difficult to describe the visuals as impressive, although they did at times hint at the illusion of live performers on stage.

Pages from history books fluttered through the air as the conductor led the orchestra, the flames of the Somme raged, and clouds of mustard gas enveloped the troops as piles of corpses grew.

It featured recorded performances by the Vienna Philharmonic Choir, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, and renowned Russian soprano Yana Ivanilova of a moderan classical score by composer Adam Donen.

But it lacked cohesion until the final poppy-wreathed movement when there were glimpses of the coalescence of imagery, emotion and music, that I guess had been intended throughout.

A brave attempt, but an unmemorable score, and sometimes baffling imagery. A shame it promised more than it could deliver.