As I blogged a couple of months ago, it was always going to be a tough sell.
Imagine This - the show which will forever be known as ‘the holocaust musical’ - opened at the New London Theatre last night and, judging from the overnight reviews, its prospects look bleak.
The reviews peak with Charles Spencer’s lukewarm response in The Daily Telegraph, but, it’s downhill from there. The Guardian isn’t impressed and nor is The Times. Likewise, our very own Stage reviewer Mark Shenton doesn’t see the show as a winner.
Most of the critics - while praising the effort put in by the cast - seem to think that the concept is simply a bad one. To paraphrase - they argue ‘A musical about the holocaust sounds like a bad idea and it is one’.
Do you think that’s true? Are some subjects just not suited to the musical treatment? Or can the best musicals sometimes come from the most unlikely sources? Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables and Cats all spring to mind.
And, on the subject of Les Mis, will these notices be the death knell for Imagine This? After all, Les Mis didn’t review that well and it’s still going strong, all these years on.
I spoke to Imagine This’ lead actor Peter Polycarpou a couple of weeks ago and he certainly seemed convinced that the show would rely more on good word of mouth from audiences than the critical reception.
Was he right? Or are we in for another quick closure at the New London following on from Gone with the Wind?