|ROCKING THE CRADLE IN LONDON 1997|
|John Jansson on London's most recent Blitzstein revival
In August 97, I was involved with a production of The Cradle Will Rock, the first London (and probably UK) production for over 12 years. It formed part of the BAC Opera Festival at the Battersea Arts Centre, known widely as the "National Theatre of the Fringe".
I was fortunate enough to be working with a great director, Mehmet Ergen, and a terrific cast, and the experience proved both highly enjoyable and immensely gratifying. The full-houses to which we played responded warmly and enthusiastically to The Cradle, coinciding, as it did, almost exactly with its sixtieth birthday. The strength of the response was perhaps the deciding factor in my creation of this site, and I was immensely pleased by the way in which Blitzstein's words and music still had the power to move and convince after all these years.
The UK entertainment trade paper The Stage, in reviewing the show, concluded that it "was a most rewarding evening." And the critic, David Blewitt, praised Blitzstein's "individual voice", "Ysobel Gonzalez's touching and finely sung Moll", "Nathan Osgood's powerful Larry Foreman", and noted that "the cast, under the musical direction of John Jansson (who plays Blitzstein's complex score from memory!), sing with an energy and confidence which does the piece full justice."
The production created considerable press interest, with many interviews and articles. Click here for an interview with Mehmet and myself which appeared in the Daily Telegraph just prior to the show's opening.