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Don Diego by day, Zorro as a Hero… Mar 11

Zorro“We kindly ask that anyone wishing to eat wrapped sweets during tonight’s performance do so quitely.”

These weren’t the words that I expected to hear prior to the actors taking the stage in the West End theatre production of Zorro. I was expecting the seriousness of Romance, the angst of the belittled residents of early California and Swashbuckling adventure and sword play, but not humour. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least and fitted in perfectly.

Of course I should have remembered that all of these elements could be found in the last two cinematic outings for our hero Zorro. Having enjoyed  Antonio Banderas’ Mask of Zorro and Legend of Zorro, I entered the Garrick theatre with high hopes and great expectations.

I can happily say that I walked out just under three hours later, still humming along to the music of the Gipsy Kings having thoroughly enjoyed the swash-buckling adventure of Diego; the son of the popular local Don of the peublo; a gypsy showman; a mild-mannered gentleman of peace and above all else, the greatest swordsman in California.

With a mixture of songs created for the show as well as a number of popular tracks from the French Gypsy Latino band Gipsy Kings, the music is stirring (Entrada), emotional (Libertad, In one Day), familar (Bamoleo, Baila Me and Djobi Djoba) and fun (One more Beer).

For me I found nothing to fault in the acting, clear singing and sets, but I did feel that the two things that stood out for me the most were the sword play from Matt Rawle’s Don Diego and the Gypsy Inez, played sublimely by Lesli Margherita. If it wasn’t the comical nature of her character, it was the way she purposefully exaggerated her rolling R’s for suitable effect.

In summary I would highly recommend Zorro, especially for anyone who grew up wishing they were rescuing the damsel playing out the roles of such characters as Robin Hood, Sinbad, d’Artagnan and of course Zorro. Of course if on the otherhand you dreamed of being swept off your feet by any of those adventerous heroes, then prehaps you might find yourself wishing that Zorro will carry you out of the theatre to the envy of all your friends…

Please note: For those of you like me, who suffer from a case of “long leg syndrome”, it’s worth being aware that even with my 6′ 4″ frame I had no problem sitting in the stalls and would happily recommend row F seats 9 and 10.

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