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Death Note: First Night Recap

Written by Daz Gale

Monday 21st August 2023 saw the long-awaited debut of Death Note in London, marking two firsts for the musical - the first European production and the English language premiere of a show that has taken Japan by storm.

It's not too often I get to do a first night post these days but if you haven't seen one of them before, this is NOT a review. This is a picture heavy look at the stage, merchandise and curtain call with the cast with just the teensiest bits of information about the show.

Usually, these posts are a stop gap before I return to a show a couple of weeks later to review it. However, I was at the first night as a reviewer so will be posting my full review in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, here's a bit of what you can expect if you see Death Note.

As it is playing the London Palladium for 3 performances in two days, there isn't any new decor to the theatre outside or inside - just a great use of the video screens outside.

However, posters have been simultaneously going up at the Lyric theatre today where it will enjoy a slightly longer run next month.

You would think for a limited concert, there wouldn't be any merchandise. You would be wrong.

T-shirts (plural), Hoodies (just the one), mugs, pin badges and tote bags were all available to buy. As you can imagine, the queues were ridiculously long with staff announcing the merchandise stands would still be open after the show.

The programme is £10 and has a clever touch of being in the original Japanese format with the front being at the back.

Some content warnings helpfully placed around the theatre:

When it was time to go inside the theatre, the staging took my breath away. Anyone who was expecting Death Note in concert to be a simple concert got it completely wrong as this made it clear there was far more staging involved.

The show finished at around 9.55pm but started slightly later than 7.30 tonight.

While there were some teething problems with technical issues as there so often is on a first night. this is a truly sensational production with a cast who are clearly on the top of their game including the chance to see a Broadway star amongst some West End favourites including Joaquin Pedro Valdes getting the star vehicle he deserves!

To find out more of my many thoughts about this (pretty fabulous) production keep an eye out for my full review on the website this week.

Here are the cast at the curtain call:

Death Note plays at the London Palladium until 22nd August and then moves to the Lyric Theatre from 7th - 11th September. Tickets from

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