Chess In Concert

  • Film
  • Musicals
Try this experiment: take an everyday phrase like ‘Please could you direct me to the nearest Post Office’ and sing it using the first melody that comes into your head. Now add a 100-piece rock orchestra. That, to me, is the essence of ‘Chess in Concert’, a musical based loosely on the 1986 theatrical show which centres on two international chess bouts and the accompanying political and romantic shenanigans. But you’d have thought that with Abba’s Benny and Björn writing the music, Tim Rice’s commonplace lyrics would have been given a more melodic twist than regular collaborator Andrew Lloyd Webber could ever muster. You’d be wrong. Aside from the 1984 hit ‘One Night in Bangkok’, the vast majority of this interminably long filmed version of last year’s Albert Hall shindig is given over to a raft of unhummable notes picked seemingly at random, with several trite rock-combo songs squashed in between. It’s all so corny and soulless. I can see the appeal to fans of the show, but it just doesn’t justify a big-screen outing.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday September 4 2009
Duration: 144 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Hugh Wooldridge

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|2
1 person listening
Lynn

I saw this this evening and absolutely loved it. Why oh why did you go to review this Derek if you weren't a fan of the show? I saw it twice on stage in the 80's and loved it. Your glib analysis of the soundtrack shows just how little you know about the genre, which again begs the question, why go to review it? This was not a major release across all cinemas but aimed at fans of the show and the soundtrack. In that context it fulfills its remit perfectly, as the packed and cheering crowd in London's west end tonight will atest.

Lynn

I saw this this evening and absolutely loved it. Why oh why did you go to review this Derek if you weren't a fan of the show? I saw it twice on stage in the 80's and loved it. Your glib analysis of the soundtrack shows just how little you know about the genre, which again begs the question, why go to review it? This was not a major release across all cinemas but aimed at fans of the show and the soundtrack. In that context it fulfills its remit perfectly, as the packed and cheering crowd in London's west end tonight will atest.