“I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint!”.
So declares Antonio Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s 1979 drama of fame and jealousy, Amadeus. One-time celebrated court composer, Antonio Salieri finds himself thrust into the shadows upon the arrival of a vulgar, cocky young musician from Salzburg: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Realising he hasn’t the God-given talent that Mozart (seemingly so undeservedly) possesses, Salieri vows instead to go down in history for his infamy by destroying his adversary.
Spun though it is around a scrap of fact, Shaffer’s tale is a rollicking romp through the glittering concert halls and ballrooms of 18th-century Vienna with a cast of extraordinary characters, from the childlike, hysterical Mozart to the dim-witted Emperor Joseph II. Amadeus was made into an Oscar-winning film in 1984 starring F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce.
Performed by the CUADC, Amadeus is at the ADC Theatre 13-17 October, 7.45pm. Tickets £7-£12.