(Dominic Cavendish’s article appeared in The Telegraph, 10/27.)

Back in 1979, rehearsing Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus for its premiere run at the National Theatre, Felicity Kendal just knew that it “was going to be a classic… we could smell it.” And so Shaffer’s accomplished and daring fictionalised account of the (mutually fatal, he suggested) relationship between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and fellow composer (the Austrian imperial Kapellmeister) Antonio Salieri proved – leaping to the West End, then to Broadway, and then onto the big screen, to Oscar-winning effect.

Now it has returned to its home, the National, in a note-perfect production by rising director Michael Longhurst that gives it a fresh, vital and musically inventive new reading, one which fully confirms its classic status.

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