REVIEW: A Song of Songs, Park Theatre

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REVIEW: A Song of Songs, Park Theatre

Remarkable new musical play takes inspiration from biblical tale

Photo: Pamela Raith Photography
Photo: Pamela Raith Photography

A stellar production, with a host of award-winning performers and musicians, A Song of Songs comes to London from the USA where it won The San Francisco Critics Award for the best new production.

Written and performed by the hugely talented Israeli-born actress Ofra Daniel, it is a love story. But, be warned, it is not an old-fashioned musical in the traditional sense. This is a powerful play, telling a passionate love story in a modern style, with moments of great beauty and comedy, and it is a story of an all-consuming longing. A love that is so powerful, so encompassing, that it takes over the life of Tirzah – the play’s central character.

Taking its inspiration from the biblical Song of Songs – King Solomon’s Shir hashirim – Ofra Daniel stars as Tirzah. She is joined by an accomplished cast of performers, including Ashleigh Schuman who is making her musical theatre debut and Joaquin Pedro Valdes, recently seen in Heathers – and together they bring tremendous energy and skill to their roles. Ofra’s performance is powerful, hugely sensual, almost visceral, as she plays Tirzah who falls hopelessly in love with an unknown admirer.

The music is central to the play and wonderful. Created by the multiple award-winning team of Ofra Daniel, who wrote the book, music and lyrics, co-composer Lior Ben-Hur, in collaboration with Ali Paris and Yuval Ron, it draws on influences both ancient and modern. Played by a quintet of internationally acclaimed musicians, who are onstage throughout the performance, it invokes the notes of traditional klezmer, the pulsating, rhythmic melodies of the Middle-East and the drama of flamenco. There are several standout musical numbers including the hauntingly beautiful song Elecha.

The play was first performed in San Franscisco in 2017 and plans to bring it London had to be shelved because of Covid. Now Londoners finally have their chance to see the show. It runs until June 15th, and is rated 15+ as it contains mild sexual content, partial nudity and moments of complete darkness.

A Song of Songs runs at Park Theatre until 15 June 2024.

**Special offer for Jewish News readers** Use code JGROUPSASOS for £20 tickets for all performances until 28 May. Book at

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