The Scarlet Pimpernel
There is no way I can adequately express my complete love for the Scarlet Pimpernel Musical. The book has always been one of my top five favorite romances of all time. There is just something truly beautiful in the story of a man torn between his duty to be a good man and his adoration for his wife. He carefully balances betrayal to his cause against betrayal to one he made an everlasting vow to. It's both stunning and tragic. I pretty much cry every time I read it. There is one quote in the book, that sums up everything this book means to me:
Had she but turned back then, and looked out once more on to the rose-lit garden, she would have seen that which would have made her own sufferings seem but light and easy to bear–a strong man, overwhelmed with his own passion and his own despair. Pride had given way at last, obstinacy was gone: the will was powerless. He was but a man madly, blindly, passionately in love, and as soon as her light footstep had died away within the house, he knelt down upon the terrace steps, and in the very madness of his love, he kissed one by one the places where her small foot had trodden, and the stone balustrade there, where her tiny hand had rested last.
Baroness Orczy has just an amazing way with words. So I am always a little cautious about film or theatre adaptions; this time I was wonderfully surprised. The play, while not perfect, does strive excellently to grasp the message and emotions behind this story. It doesn't stick quite to the book, but close enough I was not left feeling like it missed something. Sadly, I have yet to see the scene above in a re-enactment, but the love here was obvious. And the music! As a musician myself, I was just swept away with the music. It had everything: hilarity, passion, tragedy, victory. . . . I will always recommend this show!