A heart-wrenching musical based on the life of legendary composer Sergei Rachmaninoff by three-time Tony Award nominee Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812)
Sergei Rachmaninoff has it all; world-wide fame from a single composition by the age of 19, commissioned to write his first symphony at 20 and engaged to the love of his life, Natalya. But at 21 he is crippled with a depressive paranoia and anxiety. His world has imploded, his work has stopped, he cannot even lift a pencil to compose a simple melody. Such is the power of the men who sought to destroy him, who haunt his waking nightmares and poison his dreams. And when those men happen to be the greatest artists of their day, how do you come back, how do you escape the darkness and come into the light?
Based on a true story of Rachmaninoff’s sessions of hypnotherapy, Preludes is an extraordinary new musical by three-time Tony Award-nominee Dave Malloy. It examines the crippling debilitation and harm the world can do to people, and how the dramatic and musical process can be used as therapy to restore them back into the fullest of creative lives.
Using live piano and electronics, Malloy uses a hybrid of his own and Rachmaninoff’s compositions to create a dream-like world that takes us to the darkest recesses of Rachmaninoff’s mind.
Dave Malloy is a composer and writer of some of the most exciting new music theatre works. His best-known piece, Natasha Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, based on War and Peace, started at Ars Nova in New York before transferring to Broadway’s Imperial Theatre where it played to huge critical and audience acclaim and was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, the highest number of nominations in the 2017 awards season, including Best Musical.
★★★★★ ‘This could be the most exciting and mind-blowing UK premiere to hit a London stage this year.’ The Reviews Hub
★★★★★ ‘A spectacular assault on the senses that transcends space and time and leaves you mentally sand-blasted. This is like nothing that you’ll have seen or heard before.’ Musical Theatre Review
★★★★★ ‘This is a ground-breaking event.’ British Theatre
★★★★ ‘Exceptionally powerful. Radical in form.’ The Arts Desk
★★★★ ‘This is an utterly unique experience. You will find yourself lost in its feverish rhythm.’ Time Out
★★★★ ‘Hypnotic and dazzling. A strange marvel, thrillingly unlike anything else musical theatre has seen.’ The Stage
★★★★ ‘Lands with an ethereal grace.’ WhatsOnStage
“Along with Fun Home and the soaring, Broadway-bound Hamilton, this smashing production says that the American musical is not only not dead but also growing luxuriantly in places you never expected.” Ben Brantley, The New York Times on Preludes at the Lincoln Center Theater.
To listen to some of the music from the show, you can check out the Original Cast Recording on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/album/10MoUMwRzUyUiKALkqk4IW
Please note this show contains strobe lighting.
Set & Costume Designer
Monday 23rd September
Dave Malloy in conversation with Matt Wolf
Three-time Tony Award nominee and writer and composer of Preludes Dave Malloy will be appearing in conversation with Matt Wolf (London theatre critic of The International New York Times and London correspondent for broadway.com) after the performance on Monday, 23 September 2019.
The talk is free to audience members with a ticket to the show that evening, which are available to purchase now for £27.50 (£22 conc.)
Production Photos by Scott Rylander
Rehearsal Photos by Scott Rylander