So we took the boys to see the ben Hur spectacular last night. Yes it was big, very big. But it also went a long way to prove that bigger does not necesarily mwan better. And on the whole, while I acknowledge that a lot of people worked very hard on this production, the results where underwhelming.
First of for most of the show the scale was simply too big, and it was all the cast could do to run to their places and while the same music played over and over again.
The first supposidly big scene was the galley fight, only it made no sense as while the romans came in on a galley, the pirates arrived on foot. Watching the one, admididly huge galley being assembled was frankly a little boring. Really why not use smaller ships that can actually move about the stage and have somthing that looks like a real navel battle?
Then we get tot the biggest let-down of the night, gladiators who spend all their time wrestling. The excuse that they could not use weapons for occupational health and safety reasons seemed absurd. I can go down to any toy or costume shop and get reasonable looking weapons (that are considered safe for children), and with their huge budget they couldn't get something made that was safe but looked passable (considerthing the distance that the audience is viewing at?
Then finally we come to the highlight of the night, the chariot race. OK this was a moment of sheer awesome that could not be done any other way. However we are talking about 5 - 10 minutes of awesome out of two hours.
In the end, It was good, but not good enough for me to feel I got my moneys worth.