Originally opening Off-Broadway in 1990, Assassins has run on the West End and Broadway, earning itself five Tony Awards along the way. This revival production by Jamie Lloyd takes place in the intimate Menier Chocolate Factory, where tickets have been selling like hot cakes.
Assassins is set in a fairground, in which all of the assassins are armed with guns from a conveyor belt. A “Proprietor” distributes the arms and entices the group to “play,” promising their problems will be solved by killing. The Balladeer, a personification of the American Dream, narrates events and one by one, we learn the back-story to each of those who tried to murder a president. We encounter John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Lincoln plus his accomplice David Harold, Charles Guiteau, assassin of President Garfield, Leon Czolosz, assassin of President Mckinley, Guiseppe Zangara, attempted assassin of President Roosevelt, Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of President Kennedy, plus attempted assassins Samuel Byck, John Hinkley, Lynette Fromme and Sarah Jane Moore. Each character is spurred on by others in the fairground.
The production is presented in the style of a revue and many of the assassins have their own song, which is adjusted to reflect the century in which they made their attempt on the President’s life. Musical numbers include ‘Everybody’s Got the Right,’ ‘The Ballad of the Booth,’ ‘The Gun Song,’ ‘Another National Anthem,’ and ‘Something Just Broke.’ Designed by Soutra Gilmour in collaboration with director Jamie Lloyd, Assassins features truly stunning visuals, making the audience very much feel like part of the circus.
Recommended forFans of Sondheim will enjoy this show for its classic Sondheim style. In particular, fans of Sweeney Todd and Gypsy are likely to enjoy this show.
Assassins features violence and graphic content and is therefore not aimed at children.
Age Recommendations: recommended for 11+