Opened 24 July 2009
Written: Music by John Robinson, Libretto by Roberto Trippini, Lyrics by Roberto Trippini & John Robinson, based on a play by Ron Read
Directed: Pat Garrett
Cast: Helen Dallimore, James Graeme, Tammy Joelle
Synopsis: A fictional account of the last year in the life of Ernest Hemingway. Author and Nobel Prize-winner Ernest Hemingway, battling the rigours old age, takes solace in the company of his young secretary. His wife, tolerating this liaison so as not to lose him, is aware that the secretary has a secret agenda - to become wife number five and inherit his estate.The arrival of Rex, an old school friend, adds a further complication, as he tries to secure the film rights to the life of the notorious writer. With bribery, lies and manipulation, Rex plays a dangerous game to achieve his goal, but in this suggested account of events leading to Hemingway’s death, can there be any winners?
What the popular press had to say.....
MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Implausible and unnecessary musical...I wouldn't have minded a few tuneful Mediterranean ditties here in place of the instantly forgettable two dozen numbers by John Robinson that fatally clog the action." DOMINIC MAXWELL for THE TIMES says, "Too Close to the Sun is pretty dire. But it’s such a muted, muddled experience, such a waste of time and talent, that there’s not really much to snigger about...It’s not good; it’s not so bad it’s good. It’s just bewilderingly drab." RHODA KOEING for THE INDEPENDENT says, "Stilted production...Robinson's trite music pootles about aimlessly and tunelessly, and the lyrics (a Robinson-Trippini collaboration) eschew rhyme as well as reason." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Of more than 20 musical numbers, there isn’t one that either delights or lodges itself in the memory...Pat Garrett’s production plods through this rubbish heap of a show with leaden tedium." FIONA MOUNTFORD for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "The dialogue is flat and the music peculiar, with song after identical song coming over all difficult and resolutely tune-free. "
Production photos by Tristram Kenton