A Chorus Line review: Innovative in unexpected ways

Flashy production at the Leicester Curve is supremely slick, but hindered by one gimmicky trick

Isobel Lewis
Wednesday 08 December 2021 13:12
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<p>The cast of ‘A Chorus Line'</p>

The cast of ‘A Chorus Line'

Actors enter every audition with one clear aim: to stand out enough to win the part. But for wannabe chorus members of the big stage musicals, there’s a harder balance to strike. You have to be noticed enough to get the role, but what they’re looking for is a background performer only there to blend in. In the 1975 musical A Chorus Line, something changes. Director Zach (Adam Cooper) asks them to tell their own stories during an audition, and once the cheesy grins are stripped away, out spill stories of abuse, heartbreak and teenage trauma.

When you think of A Chorus Line, chances are you imagine perfectly synchronised high kicks and lots of jazz hands. It’s one of the most demanding shows out there, yet Ellen Kane’s choreography in the new production at the Leicester Curve is innovative in unexpected ways. The group numbers are never overly reliant on synchronisation or symmetry (as a show like this lends itself to) but instead have a layered depth where separate components tessellate with ease. In the solo numbers, elements of street, cheerleading and modern dance are integrated – Paul (Ainsley Hall Ricketts) performs an interpretive dream sequence after injuring himself that is as haunting as it is stunning.

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