The Sorrows of Satan – Tristan Bates Theatre

Simon Willmont

Simon Willmont, Claire-Marie Hall and Stefan Bednarczyk in The Sorrows of Satan at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London. Picture: Ben Radford Photography

The Sorrows of Satan continues at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London until 25 March.

Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The souls of Luke Bateman and Michael Conley were bared at the preview of their brand new musical, The Sorrows of Satan at the Tristan Bates Theatre. I am happy to report that they were received with laughter, warmth and applause.

The story follows hopeless playwright Geoffrey Tempest (played by Simon Willmont) who is desperate to make his mark as a successful writer of musical comedy, with his reincarnation of Faust and a hysterically repetitive score.

As the plot unravels, Geoffrey is doomed to realise that the only way to ever be a success is to sell his soul to the devil.

The writer is torn between his inevitable fate and the soulless gulf now filled with cash. Watching Willmont play this awkward character on his downward spiral is highly enjoyable.

The Sorrows of Satan is wickedly clever and dripping with fine wit. Bateman and Conley make an epic writing duo and audience members spend the show either laughing or gasping at how clever the piece is.

The comic timing between the four actors is excellent. Willmont plays the slightly tragic Geoffrey brilliantly against the ever-dying Claire-Marie Hall as The Woman. Hall slips between characters with ease and is effortlessly funny.

A highlight of the show is the surprise solo for the tongueless Amiel (played by musical director Stefan Bednarczyk).

Dale Rapley plays the smarmy Lucio whose constant devilish behaviour is scarily compelling.

Adam Lenson’s direction is spot on. The dialogue between each character bounces across the stage as the actors flirt with the small audience, playing with the idea that Geoffrey’s show really is terrible.

Humorous, intelligent, witty… The Sorrows of Satan fits all the adjectives. If selling my soul to the devil means more work by Bateman and Conley, then I could be tempted…

Lucy Beirne 


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