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Hadestown review | A harmonious odyssey through time and myth

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From its humble beginnings as a DIY community project in Vermont to its triumphant run on Broadway, Hadestown has proven to be a musical phenomenon. The brainchild of singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, this production weaves together the tales of Orpheus and Eurydice, and Persephone and Hades, against a backdrop that oscillates between Ancient Greece, Depression-era America, and the present day. This modern retelling is working it's charm at West End's Lyric Theatre.

The mythical story of lost love

The show’s setting, a New Orleans-style saloon bar, serves as the stage for a virtually sung-through performance that feels more like a pulsating concert than a traditional musical. The cast, dressed as Dustbowl pilgrims, delivers a performance that is as visually striking as it is audibly captivating. The music, a blend of modern American folk and New Orleans-inspired jazz, creates an atmosphere that is both haunting and electrifying.

The narrative, guided by the silver-waistcoated Hermes, played by Melanie La Barrie, introduces us to the star-crossed lovers, Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus, portrayed by Dónal Finn, is a penniless musician, lost in his quest for the perfect song, while Eurydice, played by Grace Hodgett Young, is a pragmatic soul, struggling to survive in a harsh world. Their love story unfolds amidst songs that range from the foot-stomping “Way Down Hadestown” to the romantic “Wait for Me”.

The cast’s performances are nothing short of spectacular. Zachary James’s Hades is a formidable presence, his voice a blend of Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen, hitting staggering low notes in “Why We Build the Wall”. Gloria Onitiri’s Persephone exudes charisma, while the three Fates (Bella Brown, Madeline Charlemagne, and Allie Daniel) add a touch of mischief to the proceedings.

Hadestown is a show that speaks to the concerns of all times - tyranny, poverty, lost love - and does so with a soul and spirit that sets it apart from other musicals. It’s a journey through the underworld that leaves audiences spellbound, proving that even in the face of known endings, the value of storytelling remains undiminished. This is, without a doubt, one of the best West End musicals around.

Hadestown review | What the critics think

“Magical folk opera that touches the heart.”
Clive Davis, The Times

"I was bewitched by this achingly beautiful and boldy original musical."
Stefan Kyriazis, Daily Express

"Anaïs Mitchell’s musical melds two classical myths, folk and jazz with tremendous soul and offbeat spirit."
Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

"Anaïs Mitchell’s infernally good musical finally takes up its rightful space in the West End."
Andrzej Lukowski, TimeOut

How to buy Hadestown tickets in London?

Looking for budget-friendly tickets for Hadestown in London? Book your tickets online! Enjoy last-minute availability, choose your seats using the Lyric Theatre seating plan, and skip the queues by booking at your convenience.

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