Salieri's opening line, "It's not true, you know," supposes a certain amount of knowledge on the part of the audience – as much, basically, as is contained in Amadeus. His jealousy of Mozart is nonetheless portrayed at length, as is his temptation to poison the upstart genius: whether he actually dunnit remains ambiguous, despite his protestations.
This is "a dramatic entertainment", which means there's a lot of singing and piano-playing interspersed by bouts of acting. The balance is achieved adroitly enough, although it's apparent that Garth Bardsley (playing Mozart) is more a singer than an actor, and it's unfortunate that Stefan Bednarczyk as Salieri is the better pianist. As part of the Mozart bicentcennial industry, though, you could fare a lot worse.
Written for City Limits magazine.
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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