Review Round Up: Amadeus, National Theatre

Peter Shaffer’s play about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri returns to the National theatre where it premiered in 1979. But what have critics been saying about Michael Longhurst’s new production? 


The Guardian: **** “In the end, the production works superbly because it places the human drama in the seething context of a music-dominated society.”

The Financial Times: **** “when the acting, Longhurst’s stage direction, Simon Slater’s musical direction and the Sinfonia all merge in the final Requiem sequence, the drama becomes as towering as the music.”

The Telegraph: ***** “a note-perfect production by rising director Michael Longhurst that gives it a fresh, vital and musically inventive new reading.”

Culture Whisper: “Amadeus is not merely a reproduction or a homecoming, but a soaring and spirited revival that is unmissable.”

WhatsOnStage: **** “Brilliantly, Longhurst and musical director Simon Slater restore the radicalism of Mozart’s music.”

Time Out: ***** “even the playwight didn’t conceive of a full live orchestra getting in on the action, singing, playing, even taking on a few minor acting roles. I guess that makes this total total theatre, and it is wonderful.”

The Independent:***** “Longhurst has let the air of today into Amadeus in bravura fashion.”

Broadway World: ***** “A note-perfect revival.”

A Younger Theatre: “a thrillingly ambitious and sensually rich production that can bring an audience to its feet.”

The Upcoming: **** “It may fail to pack the punch it seems to want to make in certain moments, but this does not take away from the excellent performances and marvelous showcase of Sinfonia’s talents.”

Evening Standard: **** “Director Michael Longhurst’s interpretation is ambitious. Yet it takes a while to exert its grip.”

Johnny Fox: **** “when the Southbank Sinfonia plays eagerly from Die Entfürung Aus Dem Serail, or The Marriage of Figaro and the production really takes off, you might also have a good time.”

Gay Times:*** “It’s a bold and invigorating revival and a story well told, even if the text gets drowned a little beneath all the bells and whistles.”

Art Info: ***** “The Michael Longhurst full-on production is excellent, with no expense spared and only a few confusing modern touches.”

The Reviews Hub: **** “In truth the play may not be so profound as it pretends to be, but this revival of it is still profoundly entertaining.”

West End Wilma: **** “Michael Longhurst’s production expertly fuses Peter Shaffer’s intriguing play with Mozart’s music and a rich imagery – creating a Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art).”

Life in the Cheap Seats: “THIS is what people need to remember – a glorious theatrical evening of scintillating music with extra spectacle and great storytelling.”

Page to Stage Reviews: ***** “Amadeus is an epic theatrical spectacle; Salieri’s monologues were inspiring, the costume design was stunning, musically it was constantly exciting with the 20-piece Southbank Sinfonia on stage as part of the action, and Mozart’s slow descent into madness was both captivating and surprisingly moving. In short, this is a must-see production.”

Hollywood Reporter: “Longhurst’s sumptuous revival finds some fruitful new connections between form and content. In his hands, Amadeus is no longer just a witty psychodrama about rival opera composers, but an opera in its own right.”

The Times: **** “The 21 musicians are the backbone of the production, scattering and re-forming like some sort of murmuration of musically gifted starlings.”

Londonist: **** “If you yearn for all that moody chasing through the misty streets of Prague (masquerading as Vienna) pursued by a hundred violins in the Miloš Forman movie, you might be disappointed by this version which is less reverential of the language and style of Peter Shaeffer’s play, and which fails to foreground its themes of psychology, philosophy, aesthetics and the divine inspiration of creative genius.”

Radio Times: **** “Michael Longhurst never lets the action flag and wrings every drop of emotion from Shaffer’s dark script. I for one will never listen to Mozart in quite the same way again.”

British Theatre Guide: “There seems little doubt that Amadeus will be one of the big hits of the autumn and anybody in love with classical music, eccentric characters or a fantastic yarn about jealousy and genius should not miss out.”

Amadeus plays at the National Theatre until February 2017. For more information and to book tickets visit:




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