“The Fire and the Quest 2”
1-2 September 2017
Music and Lyrics by Clive Nolan
Directed by Ian Baldwin
On the first weekend of September the Cheltenham Playhouse saw the return of the composer, lyricist, and symphonic rock legend Clive Nolan (Arena, Pendragon) and his Caamora Theatre Company. The event, to celebrate the Nolan musicals, consisted of three shows: “Alchemy”, an acoustic concert “Beyond the Veil”, and the premiere of Nolan's most recent piece, “King’s Ransom”.
After its concert premiere in Poland in 2013, “Alchemy” debuted half a year later as a theatre production at the Cheltenham Playhouse, and subsequently was shaped into a cleverly concise production suitable for both big and small venues by the talented Cheltenham director Ian Baldwin. The show was performed over a week in the London off-West End in 2014. The 2017 version turned out to be a revived version freshened by the presence of a few new cast members.
The plot unwinds within the realm of the “Alchemy universe”. Set in the Victorian era, the musical presents a tale of adventure, love and mystery with elements of the ghostly and the supernatural. Professor Samuel King (Clive Nolan) embarks on a quest in search of artefacts left behind by the alchemist, Thomas Anzeray (Chris Lewis), which in the hands of King's overambitious and power-greedy adversary, Lord Henry Jagman (played by the excellent and ever-entertaining Andy Sears), might lead to disastrous consequences resulting in distorting the balance between the living and the dead.