Having discovered, in recent years, the American musical theatre giant Stephen Sondheim, I’ve been on a mission to see all of his shows. Recently I went to the Union Theatre in Southwark to see Pacific Overtures. Written by John Weidman, this show is about the relationship between Japan and America following Commodore Perry’s entry to Japanese waters in 1833 for the purpose of developing trade.
The music, which reminded me slightly of Gilbert and Sullivan, was excellent, and as I would expect from Sondheim, the lyrics were very witty. I found the musical interesting from a historical point of view, as it explored the history of Japan opening up to the West.
The mostly-white costume and set worked very well and I thought the show was produced sensitively. A hugely enjoyable experience.