Nine - The Musical

Nine - The Musical tells the story of Guido Contini, a fictional movie director in 1960s Italy, as he goes through a mid-life crisis. Guido is the only male in the cast and is seen as both a child and an adult, surrounded by the influential women in his life. He is struggling with his most recent cinematic enterprise, his marriage, his mistress, and his fortieth birthday. As his life falls apart around him Guido reflects back on what led him to where he is today.A strong ensemble brings energy to the musical numbers. The space is used well; when the entire female cast is on stage it does not appear crowded, but instead powerful. Levels within the set help create this. Women are plucked and shifted, depending on the scene, allowing the central action to be focused around Guido. There are, however some awkward moments, for example handstands performed during a musical number which are unimpressive and detract from the overall effect.Throughout the show Guido oozes charm; it is easy to see why he is such a Lothario, but the audience understands that his is genuine. Though caring for one woman may destroy another, he is unable to control himself. Gina Abbatt’s portrayal of his wife, Luisa, is truly touching. The audience feels empathy towards her and somehow understands that she loves Guido in spite of how much he hurts her. Her song, ‘My Husband Makes Movies’ is an intimate look at a woman whose life has been swallowed by her husband’s career. The musical is suited to a more mature cast and the production uses this well, adding authenticity to the tales of love, lust and betrayal. However, in many numbers the show fails to capture the sexual tension needed to drive it. The overall effect comes across as competent but a little bland. Nevertheless it is an enjoyable production with a highly competent cast and some beautiful moments.

Reviews by Nicole Adam

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The Blurb

‘Nine’ was a successful Tony award-winning musical on Broadway before being made into a film. The show is performed by one male who we see as man and boy while the remaining cast are women.

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