Paradise Lost Review: ★★★★★
This project originally started its life back in 1991 when Lee Ormsby (music & story) and Jonathan Wakeham (books & Lyrics) began their collaboration on this show. Based on John Milton's epic poem by the same name, Paradise Lost recounts the quintessential struggle which has been at the centre of many concepts and ideas, even when you may not have realised it. From Star Wars to The Lord of The Rings, indeed many of today's powerful, gripping stories have been influenced by Paradise Lost, the ultimate story of good versus evil.
So with the story of how it came to be out of the way onto the album itself.
The pedigree of the leading cast speaks volumes with Ricardo Afonso, Charlotte Wakefield and Matthew Wycliffe and indeed the rest of the talented ensemble are no different.
Oriale (Julie Atherton) opens the album with a majestic monologue beautifully underscored by music and sets the scene. She introduces the company with with both an uplifting and enigmatic energy. What follows is quite possibly the most exciting new musical I've ever had the privilege of hearing.
For me, the particular highlights are:
When I See His Face - Angelis (Charlotte Wakefield) this song takes you on a journey soaring to delightful heights as if you were flying with the angel.
Guardian Of The Gate - a company number starts by using the word Hosanna makes it feel very Christmassy and triumphant until there is the introduction of evil when a darkness engulfs the song.
Something More/Paradise Lost - Angelis (Charlotte Wakefield) Michael (Matthew Wycliffe) Pan pipes start this enchanting duet with glorious vocals, a pitch perfect stunning composition which depicts an awakening of love and romance.
Satan Alone/Secrets & Lies - Satan (Ricardo Afonso) and Angelis a deep and menacing song which reminded me of the best rock gospels.
Angels Argument/Children Of Night - Dark and deadly depicting rebellious revolutionary angels at war.
The Dreams Of Angels - Oriale, Angelis and Satan conjures up a moonlit evening of enticement and forbidden rendezvous.
Here I Am - Satan and Gabriel Stephen Carlile are powerful, strong and defiant.
Divided Heart - Angelis's contemplative fire and dark shadows creeping oozing rising from the flames.
Helldance- Act Two opens with a racing beat in anticipation of how the second act will pan out
The Letter/Opening The Gate - Drowning in sinister feelings with the thoughts of making a catastrophic choice and shows a vulnerable Angelis
Silence In My Heart Michael - The sublime vocals which demonstrates the palpable pain of heart break.
Young & In Love - Jaunty almost amusing with hints of the roaring 1920's
Lust - Perfectly named and composed sultry, smooth, sexy and seductive
Now The Air - Ballad with a love anthem entwined with a insurgents of a rising battle.
The Final Battle - The epic final battle is culmination of all that has gone before and evokes thoughts of mammoth stage production that befits it,
Shattered Wings: Satan's angry realisation that good has triumphed over evil
To say this show could be produced and is ready for a West End Theatre would be doing this shows composer and writer, not to mention the outstanding cast an injustice. This epic new musical absolutely needs to be produced and I for one can't wait to see its triumphant opening night.
It's been an honour and a pleasure be involved in this Kickstarter project. If you're interested in brand new musicals, and if you who haven't yet purchased your copy of Paradise Lost, do so now! This is your chance to be part of something extremely special don't miss out!
Reviewed by Caroline Hanks-Farmer (@carnfarmer)