All the angels: Handel and the first Messiah

Shakespeare's Globe

Handel’s Messiah, that transcendent work, began in a Chester pub, moved to a Dublin music hall, its star an actress with a scandalous past and its composer stricken by failing health and professional disaster. This is the grist of Nick Drake’s play, in which the music and the story work rather better than the script and performances. David Horovitch grumps Germanically around as Handel, the character of the doorkeeper/graverobber Crazy Crow is an awkward chorus, and Kelly Price is stiff as the wronged and shamed Susannah Cibber. But boy can she sing, and the music, as always in the Wanamaker Playhouse, takes flight.

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