Glory Ride Musical Review Image

Glory Ride Musical Review

Written by Estelle Ross

May 31, 2023

Glory Ride takes audiences on a breathtaking journey filled with powerful music and a remarkable cast. Led by the incredible Josh St. Clair as Gino Bartali, the musical delivers an exceptional original score that is beautifully brought to life by the immensely talented performers. The production's set design and lighting are equally stunning, transporting the audience to the French Alps and the enchanting Florentine Piazza where the story unfolds.

Amy Di Bartolomeo shines as Adriana, a Florentine artist, capturing the essence of her character's love for Gino through intimate duets and breathtaking solos. Her vocals are truly impressive, leaving a lasting impact on the audience. Meanwhile, St. Clair delivers a remarkable performance, conveying the depth of Bartali's character and emotions while manoeuvring a bike on stage—a true display of vocal and physical prowess.

PJ McEvoy's set design, particularly the depiction of Florence, is a sight to behold. The clever use of minimal moving pieces to portray the inside of a church is both ingenious and effective. The lighting design by Rob Halliday further enhances the ethereal atmosphere, transporting the audience to different settings, from the majestic French Alps to the scorching heat of the piazza.

The first act of Glory Ride sets the stage by introducing Bartali's development as a young cyclist, his journey to win the 1938 Tour de France, and the political unrest in Italy. While the historical material is extensive, there are moments when the pacing feels rushed. However, this allows the second act to delve deeply into the complex emotions, conflicting interests, and decision-making of the main characters. The show explores how ordinary Italian citizens became aligned with Mussolini's "blackshirts" and the impact of these alliances on their personal beliefs. Fed Zanni delivers a complex portrayal of Major Mario Carita, a young church member turned fascist, and his impressive vocals add depth to the character.

Daniel Robinson provides fantastic comedic relief as Giorgio "Nico" Nissim, offering lighthearted moments throughout the emotionally charged show. One particularly moving scene occurs when he finally articulates his motivation for supporting the Resistance to a young Jewish boy, leaving the audience overcome with emotion. Niall Sheehy's portrayal of Cardinal Elia Dalla Costa brings a commanding presence to every scene, with his powerful ballads prompting reflection among the audience. The show's ability to incorporate religious confessions seamlessly into the narrative is commendable.

The performances of Jamie Coyne and Loris Scarpa as Cosmo and Lorenzo, two young Jewish boys seeking refuge, are poignant reminders of the countless people who relied on the covert support of the Resistance during that time. Their presence creates a heartbreaking parallel for Bartali, reminding him of his duty to protect those he loves.

Glory Ride is an incredibly emotional show that elicits tears from its audience. It skillfully balances moments of comedy and heartbreak, showcasing the extraordinary courage of ordinary people in 1940s Italy. It sheds light on a lesser-known history and celebrates an unsung hero who used his fame to save persecuted individuals. St. Clair's heartfelt and inspiring portrayal of Gino Bartali leaves a lasting impression.

The Charing Cross Theatre, known for its beautiful and intimate venue, once again delivers an exceptional production. Their ability to create a captivating atmosphere and showcase the talents of musicians, crew, and performers in innovative productions like Glory Ride is truly commendable. This musical is a must-see for anyone seeking a moving and unforgettable theatrical experience.

VISA Payment Logo
Mastercard Payment Logo
Maestro Payment Logo
Paypal Payment Logo Logo