Bothwell's Bride

The opening of Bothwell’s Bride allows the audience to believe that the next hour and a half will be one of intense enjoyment, as the small orchestra at the side of the stage begins their music. Throughout the show, the orchestra were consistently fantastic, but unfortunately this was the highlight and comparatively the rest of the performance fell flat.

The musical’s storyline was interesting, but the acting from all parties was fairly static which made it far from engaging. The show involved a strange anonymous and disembodied voice, which seemed to be Bothell's alter ego, but the lack of explanation or introduction made this curious and unintelligible. Another of the confusing aspects was the change of focus a few times in the show to random characters who in no way aided or abetted the storyline, as when two young characters talked about their impending marriage, which was, to be frank, of no interest to the plot.

The singing was at times superb and one song worth a mention was the beautifully written duet sung by Bothell and the Queen. Overall the score was on par with the orchestra and had it been consistently executed at the same pace as the music, then the faults of the show would have been immaterial. Yet unfortunately, despite high points, the singing was frequently out of time, out of tune, and difficult to extract the words from.

This show might be worth seeing if you are of Scottish heritage and are intrigued by the history on offer. Although the score is well written, this show had far more potential than it managed to realise.

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Performances

The Blurb

Nominated for MTM UK Best Composer 2007, Peter D Robinson's new musical is set in 1565, the final months of Mary Queen of Scots’ reign. Carpe Diem’s reputation for powerful drama and singing make this one to see.

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