THE PUBLICITY drums engaged to draw our attention to the Prince Edward Theatre rivalled the noise on the stage itself. The gigantic financial commitment in mounting the show is a match for the quite horrendous technical achievement, which the director has mounted.
Chess is intended as a serious musical. The plot of musicals is often not important, but the music and lyrics are. I must confess that the East-West encounter in the chess championship, the defection of the Russian contestant, and the Hungarian romance did not stir me, but then neither did the music, while the lyrics were frequently so distorted by the amplification that I did not hear them.
The chess board floor, which rises, falls, tilts and revolves, the multiple TV screens which provide the commentary to the chess tournament are a splendid demonstration of the age of technology, but hardly constitute a great musical.
On the other hand, La Cage Aux Folles at the London Palladium is an entertaining musical comedy. The enthusiasm of George Hearn as Jean-Michel and Denis Quilley as Georges infects not only the rest of the cast, but also the