Knights of the Rose

Posted on 24 July 2018

Game of Thrones meets Bat Out of Hell in the new musical on the block; Knights of the Rose. If you’re a fan of the Arthurian period, knights in shining armour and all that jazz, and if you’re also a fan of classic rock and contemporary ballads, then this musical is just the perfect combination for you. This summer the stage at the Arts Theatre is being stormed by rowdy knights, some more honourable than others, and princesses and fair maidens alike. 

The poetic style old world-y writing that we associate with Shakespeare and writers of the Jacobean period is revived and used in this new musical, mixing that sense of “classic theatre”, that is well known and loved for the richness of the language, with a big range of ballads from the likes of everyone from Bonnie Tyler to Enrique Iglesias. 

Knights of the Rose is presented with a lot of grandeur, knights, ballads, and Shakespeare, oh my, but this is just the forefront and, in my personal opinion, not the best element of this musical. Underneath all these layers of things that make great musicals, is the comedy value. The story itself has comedic elements but it’s the combination of a pretty sonnet and then a song from REM which seems like a stark contrast, and it is, but they blend and work so well together in line with the story. However, it is amusing to have that almost genre whiplash but there’s no doubt that it’s part of the charm. 

This musical mixes these elements with a classic love story, fighting for honour and true love, and it’s certainly enjoyable; and classic in the sense that is cliché but that works because it’s a crowd pleaser. With all this in the mix already, it’s set up to be a wonderful little production, but it is truly lifted by an outstanding cast who give it their all, from choreographed sword dance numbers to ballads that will blow you away. 

The West End is spoilt for amazing musicals and even has incredible rock musicals on at the moment, but this musical sure is making noise and will ensure you’re in for a good night out. Give this production a visit this summer for a night to remember. 

Knights of the Rose is booking at the Arts Theatre through 26 August. Book your tickets here.

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By Jade Ali

A love for theatre stemmed from my love of literature and music, but the West End on my doorstep opened up a whole new appreciation and passion for all things stage-y