BWW Reviews: PRIVATES ON PARADE Original London Cast Recording
From the Olivier & Ivor Novello award-winning comedy by Peter Nichols, the original London cast recording of Privates on Parade is being released today; the latest CD from Stage Door Records. The show focuses on the fictional Song And Dance Unit South East ASIA (SADUSEA) who are stationed in Singapore and Malaysia during the late 1940s.
Following its origins at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1977, Privates on Parade set itself up for a healthy future. The show found success in the West End and America; shortly followed by an adaptation into a feature film five years after its stage debut, notably starring John Cleese and Denis Quilley who was also in the original cast. The text was also recently revived as part of the Michael Grandage season at the Noel Coward Theatre in 2012 featuring Simon Russell Beale.
The album was recorded at the Essex Recording Studios in 1978 but this is the first time it has been released on CD. Stage Door Records have taken the original master tapes, digitally remastered the recording and have achieved a wonderful result.
Privates on Parade showcases music by Denis King accompanied by Nichols' lyrics and his arrangements are stunning. The orchestra serenades the ears from the first note of the overture until the final note of the playoff. There is a familiarity about the music as it is very traditionally war time. The rhythms are catchy throughout and there is predominantly a very hearty feel to the compositions. Breaking up the flow of these numbers is 'The Prince of Peace' which follows the murder of the head of their squadron. 'SADUSEA' is a wonderful opening number and is almost farcical. Other light relief comes in the form of 'Black Velvet' which recreates the world famous Greensleeves and 'The Latin American Way' performed with flair by Quilley.
The Privates of Parade Original London Cast Recording is available from Stage Door Records at www.stagedoorrecords.com.