Grand Hotel - Donmar 2004
Opened 29 Nov 2004
Written: Book by Luther Davis , Music and Lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest, Based on Vicki Baum's Grand Hotel, With additional music and lyrics by Maury Yeston
Directed: Michael Grandage
Cast: Mary-Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Martyn Ellis, Gillian Bevan, Daniel Evans, Sarah Annis , David Birrell , Paul Hazel , Graham Macduff , Joseph Noble ,Sevan Stephan , Helen Baker, Julian Ovenden, Gary Raymond , Hattie Bayton, John Conroy, Elizabeth Cooper-Gee, Paul Hazel
Synopsis:1928. Berlin. At Grand Hotel the guests and staff are suffering from an excess of hope and optimism as the stock market booms. The city's decadent high life is in full swing.
What the critics had to say.....
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Well-sung production...how utterly entranced and moved I was....worth a four-star rating" PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "Michael Grandage's splendid studio-sized version at the Donmar Warehouse hits you with a thrilling, complicitous immediacy." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "It's a stylish and enjoyable production, but... Grandage can't quite disguise the fact that Grand Hotel is often second-rate." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "It isn't a classic Berlin musical. But it manages to suggest that a hotel offers a microcosm of human experience; and, when the cast lines up against the back wall economically to evoke a disgruntled shareholders' meeting or a depleted ballet-audience, you know you are in the hands of a master director." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "If you ignore many of the lyrics — “here’s the place where the great ones walk, here’s the place where the smart ones talk” — you should enjoy tunes that have a Weimar lilt in keeping both with the period, which is 1928.....But there’s still too much dud dialogue and, if you’ll permit the paradox, too much overblown banality." ALSTAIR MACAULAY for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "A much-needed reminder that a musical can be musically thrilling - and can count as true music drama, too. This new production at the Donmar Warehouse also leaves an intensely stylish visual impression." LISA MARTLAND for THE STAGE says, "Intimate as the Donmar.....drawing the audience in so close that it is almost impossible not to experience the guests’ feelings of passion, hope and despair."
Production photos by Catherine Ashmore