Guy Fawkes – Recording Review

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Wouldn’t it be great if my organisational skills were developed enough to allow me to post new musicals on the related days/events they are celebrating! I have posted Christmas musical reviews in the middle of spring, the goosebumps musical (available at…) a couple of weeks after Halloween and now a Guy Fawkes based review almost three weeks after bonfire night. I promise that someday soon I will review a themed show on the date it is celebrating but for now you will just have to pretend that this post was created almost three weeks ago. When the fireworks season comes around there is always the same discussions that are had online. The first one is whether or not we should ban fireworks due to their effect on young children and animals. I know that certain supermarkets have begun developing and selling silent fireworks that still create the beautiful visual in the sky but do not make the loud bang that causes so many people distress. The other controversial issue that is always discussed is whether fireworks should be sold to anyone who is not a professional due to the potential injuries these explosives can cause. My opinion is that people need to be educated on how dangerous fireworks can be, how to properly light and set up these purchases which could be done by some course. Obviously, if you are hosting a massive event however you would need more training as not only are you keeping yourself safe but also everyone in attendance!

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For those who don’t live in the UK, fireworks night occurs annually on the fourth of November where we celebrate Guy Fawkes (who is the partial inspiration for this week’s musical review.) The guy was most well known for his plot to try and detonate the House of Parliament which is were the leaders of the country reside. He was unsuccessful with his plan but now once a year everyone lights fireworks to celebrate this story and sometimes even put dolls inspired by the so-called treasonist on the bonfire to watch him burn. I hate when you look back at normal traditions and realise how truly weird they in fact are! However the musical is not solely based on the events of this detonation attempt but instead on someone else interpretation of what happened. The Victoria bestselling novelist William Harrison Ainsworth decided to write about Guy Fawkes but as time progressed the story began to include tales of magic, doomed love and adventure which was what his eager reader were looking for at the time. The story became his own personal canvas for creativity as he began twisting the tale to become even more engaging and exciting which would help him generate a greater income from any of their sales! Think of this a bit like the game Chinese whispers where one person tells a story to another and the next passes it on and by the end, you end up with a completely different story than the one you started with where some of the key details might be the same but usually not. Everyone from the UK knows the story of Guy Fawkes so to have a slightly different version of the tale being told will continue to keep the audience engaged.

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Generally speaking, the majority of the songs within the studio cast recording are very rock inspired with a constant intensity throughout. I would like to think that this genre of music being used was a carefully selection that reflects not only the chaos, violence and rebellious nature of Guy but also the new additions to the story! It is very encompassing to the listeners which helps to bring you right into the centre of the story. I thought that the track “Where Is The Man For Me” was sung beautifully by a very talented vocalist which talks about (as you would expect) a person who is longing to be loved by someone else. Everyone has gone through the phase of feeling lonely and isolated (especially considering the almost two years we recently spent not being allowed to see/meet people) so to have a track that explores the feeling of loneliness could not have been released at a better time! I really enjoyed the duet “The Merchant and The Maid” where both voices worked beautifully together as they discuss how different they both are to one another but the love they share is still very strong. One of the most powerful numbers in this musical would have to be “A Faith Of My Own” which was delivered yet again by an incredibly talented female singer who managed to express all the emotions through song perfectly. The number was flawlessly performed which I imagine would have everyone very close to tears when performed live in front of a real audience. The track “The Torture Chamber” was unlike anything I have heard in a very long time. It was wonderfully gothic (which is a very difficult thing to create through music so whoever developed this song should be very proud!) and was vivid enough for me to imagine what sort of staging they would use to create this unsettling atmosphere. I assume that there would be a superfluous amount of red lights used at this point in the show with a rather terrifying room being revealed to the audience. The screams and sound effects used within this musical are very clear and realistic that at the time I did find this number fairly difficult to listen to due to how unsettling it became. One of my favourite tracks, however, would have to be Prosperity which is sung by our lead performer who clearly has an incredible gift for singing. This number was flawlessly performed with the vocal ability of the singer really being showcased especially during the runs that occurred towards the end of this more emotionally powerful song!

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Overall, this is a very intense and high energy musical that offers a slightly altered tale that many people may be able to recognise. The show shines a light on specifically the vocal talents of their performers but still keeps the narrative very focussed and direct. I would rate this musical 4.5 stars out of 5!

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