Brett Herriot Review

Amelie The Musical, King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, Review

Amelie The Musical, King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

***** 5 Stars

“poetically beautiful musical theatre that sears its way into the heart”

The 2001 critically acclaimed smash hit French language film that transcended global cinema now comes to the stage, performed in English with book by Craig Lucas, Music and Lyrics by Daniel Messe and Lyrics by Nathan Tysen. This is truly a production that shows the true beauty of musical theatre to move the heart and soul in equal measure.

Telling the story of Amelie Poulain (Audrey Brisson in a stunning performance) who lives quietly in the world, but loudly in her mind. She secretly improvises small, but extraordinary acts of kindness that bring happiness to those around her. However when a chance at love comes her way, Amelie realises that to find her own contentment she’ll have to risk everything and say what’s in heart.  What unfolds is a story of the power of love and when we dare to dream we really can change the world for ourselves and those around us.

This 16 strong ensemble troupe of Actor/Musicians is first class and deliver a tour de force performance that director Michael Fentiman can be justly proud off. The use of actor/musician lead shows has increased in popularity (Craig Revel Horwood being a regular user of the idea) it doesn’t always work and often detracts from the production. In Amelie its an enchanting gift, the performers bring both France and Amelie’s dreams to life in a physically poetic way that’s a joy to watch. “Brisson” truly shines in the lead role, she is the total physical embodiment of Amelie especially as she sores above the stage on several occasions. In the role of “Nino” the boy Amelie dares to love is “Danny Mac” fresh from his success on the UK Tour of Sunset Boulevard, Mac delivers a finally crafted and intimate character that whilst never overpowering always pulls the audience into his journey, wonderful stuff.

Barnaby Race’s musical arrangements are quite simply beautiful in everyway coupled with musical director’s George Francis attention to detail ensures the music in this show stays long in the memory long after the curtain falls, with “How to Tell time”, “Halfway” and “Where do we go from here?” making particular impact.

Madeleine Girling’s design is spot on and conjures up Paris in all its glory with clever nods to the many cafe’s of the city and the Eiffel tower too. Coupled with Elliot Griggs excellently judged lighting design and Tom Marshall’s sound design ensures this is already a west end worthy production.

Michael Fentiman has succeeded in capturing the poetic magic of the film in this stage production and while it doesn’t totally reinvent the musical theatre wheel, Amelie the musical is a unique and very special show. Truly gifted performers, the industries best creative’s and technician’s combine to send the audience on a journey of love, hope and dreams.

Amelie the musical is without doubt poetically musical theatre that sears its way in the heart, get along to the King’s for an unforgettable evening!

Hartshorn – Hook Productions and Selladoor Productions present: Amelie the Musical, King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, Runs until Saturday 29th June, For Tickets go to:

UK Tour Continues, production will visit Glasgow’s Kings Theatre from 19th August 2019.

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