Photo: Francis Loney
Thirteen Days follows the lives of
three lovers, three leaders and three nations during the Cuban Missile Crisis -
the closest the world has come to being wiped out by nuclear war - by means of a
score that fuses Western, Eastern and Latin musical styles.
The musical premiered as a concert spectacular in Sheffield, and was subsequently staged at the Arcola Theatre, London as the culminating production of its Grimeborn Festival, where the critics raved:
“What Bermange manages to capture beautifully, and what makes this musical so successful, is that this isn’t just a dry recounting of history and fact - the songs for both Kennedy and Khrushchev humanise both of the leaders excellently, and adding in crowd pieces gives a wonderful snapshot of public perception during these tense times… The songs are excellent, the themes carried through beautifully as the tension rises, and there are some stand-out crowd numbers, including the wonderful second-act opener This Could Be the Week and the more upbeat Another Day in Havana. The duets and three-part harmonies between the romantic leads are hauntingly successful, as are the torch songs… This is a piece screaming for a full-scale production… Bermange’s musical skills are undeniable.”
One Stop Arts
“Excellent… leaves you humming
some lovely tunes, and moreover is fully thought-provoking… One wishes for a
wider audience for musicals that are written with so much sensitivity”
“The stirring balladry that comes
out of songs like Anyone But You and More Than A Memory feels
ready to take up residence on a West End stage, as does the storming Act One
finale – the mark of many a good musical past… One can well imagine a future for
The Public Reviews
See production photographs and hear the cast performing extracts (as broadcast live on BBC London 94.9) here.
Listen to the prime-time BBC Radio 4 programme of which the production was the subject here.
Hear two songs from the musical performed by West End stars Jenna Lee-James, Dean Collinson and Oliver Tompsett here.
Watch a 10-minute video documenting the making of the concert presentation here.