Peter recently played Sancho Panza alongside Kelsey Grammer, who played Don Quixote at English National Opera.
Based on The Adventures of Don Quixote, by Miguel the Cervantes y Saavedra, Man of La Mancha is a comic tragedy of mankind’s struggle to better both himself and the world in which he lives. When Cervantes started writing he intended a satirical burlesque of the then fashionable novels of chivalry; gradually the author’s sympathies changed, ad the novel developed into a deeper, broader and more compassionate account of the adventures of and eccentric idealist in a hostile, greedy and cynical world, which leads the reader to the conclusion that if Don (Quixote is a fool it is because the world does not live up to his ideals. This feeling is perfectly reflected in this beautiful musical version of the story.
As with all the best allegorical tales, the oppressive mood of the fight against eternal evil is heightened by the sometimes comic, sometimes dramatic attempts of the hero to right all the wrongs of the world, and although his efforts at times seem puny and pathetic, the audience is left in no doubt as to the purity of intent that he instils into his self-imposed crusade.
At times both inspiring and thought provoking, the story is both very entertaining and very moving, and will warm the heart of everyone whose spirits were ever raised by the prospect of a victory by the underdog against all the odds.
The score is a musical delight, and contains one of the most moving moments in musical theatre as Don Quixote relates his personal credo in “The Impossible Dream”.
The production also included the British star of television’s most enduring sit-com Only Fools And Horses, Nicholas Lyndhurst as the Innkeeper. Aldonza was jointly played by Danielle de Niese and Cassidy Janson.