Behind the Iron Mask- Worst Show Ever?

Behind the Iron Mask- Worst Show Ever?#0
Posted: 7/28/05 at 10:28pm
I had the rare privilege of seeing the first preview of this new musical by John Robinson. It stank. The first sign of trouble was Sheila Ferguson's grossly inflated biog, which hailed her 1989 cookbook as "a work of outstanding genius." The actors were hamstrung by some of the least dramatic writing I have experienced. The book created no tension whatsoever, the lyrics were cliche after cliche, all topped off with banal, lifeless music poorly arranged. Mark McKerracher as the Jailer at least had a crack at a good performance, but it seems the writer didn't really know what he wanted from this character, as he mostly blustered in and out of the door. Robert Fardell as the prisoner had his performance obliterated by his shoulder-length mask, which looked like a turd with three holes poked in it. Together with his total lack of body language and confused delivery, his character made no impact whatsoever. Sheila Ferguson has got tickets on herself. Her biog truly has to be seen to be believed. She claims that this role shows her "as both a serious actress and classical vocalist." Her hysterical scene as she is trapped in the jail moved the audience to hysterics, her flamenco dancing looked like someone trying squash chewing gum into carpet, and her singing was very nice back in the 70's. The show lacked any kind of discernible direction- Robert Fardell's first line is "I long to see the sunlight again..." when it is plainly streaming through his cell window. In short, an incoherent production riddled with inconsistencies, and poor performances engendered by bad writing. Donate your ticket money to charity instead.