The Third Man
Kicking off a run of three musicals in a row at the Menier, ‘The Third Man’ is, of course, an all-singing version of Graham Greene’s classic Orson Welles-starring film noir. It has to be said, it’s a pretty daunting prospect to adapt: the film is regarded as one of the greatest ever made, with a distinct harsh black and white aesthetic, and Welles’s performance is perhaps the greatest ever supporting turn in film history. The somber world of bombed-out, factional post-war Vienna does not obviously lend itself to a musical. But then a lot of stories that shouldn't work as musicals do, and director Trevor Nunn has been at the helm of several of them, most notably ‘Les Miserablés’. In any case, ‘The Third Man’ – by old-time pros George Fenton (music), Christopher Hampton (book) and Don Black (lyrics) – is at least an intriguing prospect, and there’s no denying the greatness of the source material, Greene’s twisty thriller about Holly Martins, an American who arrives in the Austrian capital to see his friend Harry Lime, only to discover that he’s died in a car accident. But has he? Fatefully, Holly decides to stay on to investigate the matter.