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Chelinot at the Union Theatre

Elizabeth Peasley

Chelinot is a musical with a powerful theme and not for the faint hearted.

Set in Autumn 1942 in the town of Chèlinot , France, it is a story convincingly told and is rich in emotion with themes of love, loyalty, courage and fear.

From the opening scene the audience is drawn into the atmosphere and skilfully held in the grip of the characters and the accompanying evocative music.

The little boy Oscar (Joshua Gordon) closely hugging his teddy bear on his way to bed plays a piano duet with his father, Max (David Laughton) in the café where much of the play is set.

Other family members and friends appear in this centre for the community and the audience is hooked.

'Nowhere to run , Nowhere to go' one of the early songs seems to tell of the horrific dilemmas to come.

The context of Nazi occupied France and the French Resistance Movement is a familiar one to all generations. The musical brings this era to life most powerfully in a way that is often only achieved with the scope of cinema. The Holocaust is introduced with profound poignancy through the fate of Oscar and his family.

Prioritise booking for Chèlinot if you want to experience an excellently portrayed, well crafted, serious minded musical.

The talented cast are all in the early stages of their careers as is the writer (Daniel Bryne), and the composer (Michael Cryne).

Another memorable production for Sasha Regan, artistic director of the Union Theatre.

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