Peter Shaffer's Amadeus PETER SHAFFER’S AMADEUS. Directed by Michael Longhurst. With Lucien Msamati, Adam Gillen, Karla Crome and ensemble cast. NTLive.


Finally. I have had a horrible time with the NTLive offerings during lockdown. In fact, I haven’t survived a full production of anything up until last night.  I was trepidatious. Amadeus is a huge and daunting play with lots and lots of words. Also, I loved the first version I saw of it as a schoolgirl so much that the subsequent productions, and movies, have left me cold.

But this one is a real goodie. It is expansive, interesting, quirky and bold, and the staging is dramatic. The huge cast of musicians and chorus are truly fabulous, the interesting split casting of Venticello into two performers who travel from contemporary theatre production to period piece is exciting, and the smaller parts are really well cast.

But, it is Lucian Msamati as Salieri that makes this a transcendent production. He is extraordinary: magnetic, charming, vile, spirited, passionate, crazed, cruel and devilish. I loved every gesture, word, prayer, shift of emotion, and intense revealing of this tortured and torturing man. He is wonderful and terrible.

Adam Gillen’s Mozart is equally fascinating and brilliant once the overwhelming irritation at his idiocy is understood. Such interesting choices here. Hard and brave choices, that make his downfall utterly devastating. He made me cry. He is matched so beautifully by a simple, clear, deft and powerfully sincere performance of Constanze, by Karla Crome. This was the first time I really understood her character and it cut straight to the heart.

At almost three hours, watching this play is an investment. But it is a worthy one. I am really happy I made it to the end.

What: Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus

Where: NTLive – watch it here