(l to r) Lucian Msamati and Adam Gillen in ‘Amadeus.’ (Photo: Marc Brenner)
Before winning eight Academy Awards for the 1984 film adaptation, Amadeus soared on the stage. Peter Shaffer’s play premiered at the National Theatre in 1979, then went on to Broadway, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Play.
Music. Power. Jealousy. Welcome to Vienna. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy it. Seized by obsessive jealousy, he begins a war with Mozart, with music and, ultimately, with God. Directed by Michael Longhurst and featuring Lucian Msamati (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, ‘Master Harold’… and the boys) as Salieri, as well as live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia.
“Amadeus is a stunning piece of theatre with two rich central roles,” wrote Michael Billington for The Guardian. “Following in the footsteps of Paul Scofield, Ian McKellen, David Suchet and Rupert Everett, Msamati is an excellent Salieri. He makes it clear that Salieri’s attack on Mozart is a perpetuation of a war with a God by whom he feels personally betrayed.”
Available through July 23.