When I sat down to watch Amadeus at the National Theatre I was expecting to laugh, to be entertained, to be dazzled by the 18th century opulence, live music and operatic singing but I wasn't expecting to cry.
Peter Shaffer's play - which the National has just announced will return next year - is the story of successful and renowned court composer Salieri (Lucian Msamati) whose position, love of music and faith is challenged when the prodigiously talented, extremely precocious and obstreperous young Mozart (Adam Gillen) arrives in Vienna.
Mozart's skill at musical composition is so exceptional it makes everyone else, including Salieri, look mediocre and he isn't happy with that. But neither is he happy with the fact that God seems to have bestowed such an amazing talent on such an uncouth and uncivilised youth when he himself is a devout Catholic. The mixture of jealousy and contempt starts to eat him up and he plots to halt the march of Mozart's growing success.
This production is a spectacle with the Southbank Sinfonia performing live on stage and professional singers taking the parts of Salieri's pupil and Mozart's performers. The costumes are lavish as befits the 18th century court in Vienna - with the odd modern touch such as Mozart's Dr Marten boots and bleached blond white hair.