With a plot as daft as any operetta, the world premiere of this misjudged musical about an ageing Shah of Persia who can’t get it up boasts a creative team laden with awards (Harold Prince and Susan Stroman co-direct) and a
score of rearranged Strauss.

In search of rejuvenating female flesh (and accompanied by Mandy Patinkin’s Chief Eunuch, whose bemused, beatific expression suggests one who can’t be troubled by desire but has read all about it) he visits Austro-Hungarian
Vienna – and lusts after the Empress.

There’s vigorous support from the all-American cast, whilst Shular Hensley’s licentious, rich voiced Baron and Kate Baldwin’s prostitute try to add credibility to a sombre second half.

But the lyrics are uninspired and the bawdy comedy often proves as limp as the Persian potentate’s penis.


Menier Chocolate Factory , 53 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU
Tube: London Bridge
020 7907 7060
Until 26th June 
£32.00 & Meal Deals available £39.50

Review: Louise Kingsley