Skip to main content

No results found

Subrooms Leaderboard1110x120px nz9jo5
Culture, Theatre

Review: Amelie

The Musical

divider
Review Amelie The Musical Members of the cast  Photo Pamela Raith
Photography © Pamela Raith

I walked into the Watermill not having seen the award-winning Amélie on screen, putting me in a position where I wouldn’t be comparing it with the beauty and charm I’ve heard the film has in spades. So, as a piece of theatre alone, it looks delightful and excellently stages the story’s most bizarre moments – specifically those involving giant figs and a singing gnome. Further, while it lacks characters I especially cared about, each one is distinct and memorable during this retelling of a girl who simply wants to do good things for other people.

There’s no shortage of gifted actor-musicians in this Michael Fentiman-directed offering. How so many violin players manage to navigate the small (however endearing) Watermill stage without someone getting an elbow to the face is in itself admirable. Further, although to me Nathan Tysen and Daniel Messe songs aren’t all that hummable following one listen, they do inject more gorgeousness into the show – especially ‘The Girl with the Glass’, poignantly performed by the title character and Dufayel, played by Audrey Brisson and Johnson Willis respectively.

Madeleine Girling’s spellbinding set greets you on entering the auditorium. One of its talking points is an impressive pulley system that frequently lifts Amélie into the air. This inevitably loses its impact the more you see it, but always serves as a reliable way to elevate her into the visually alluring apartment in which she spends night after night alone. This is a resourceful show, with an accordion that doubles as a bridge and pianos used as heightened levels of staging.

Highlights include Caolan McCarthy’s flawless impersonation of Elton John during the protagonist’s imaginary funeral, and the feisty championing of women that is ‘A Better Haircut’. Nothing made me laugh out loud or particularly moved me, but I can’t fault the professionalism, talent and energy of this cast, during a well-oiled retelling of something cherished, complete with a healthy dose of mischief and dark humour.

Amélie is at The Other Palace, London 2 December-1 February

RECOMMENDED

iVIDBg8w
Thu 2 Dec 2021

100 Noes a Year to Build a Career

Reflecting on a Decade of The Mogford Prize   

It’s not just us here at Fyne Associates who are celebrating a special birthday; in 2022 Oxford’s esteemed and highly acclaimed literary competition – The Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing – will celebrate its 10th year. Originally founded by Jeremy Mogford, the entrepreneur and face behind the Oxford Collection, the competition has since opened opportunities for countless emerging writers across the globe.

Tokyo Rose 640x400
Mon 4 Oct 2021

‘Tokyo Rose’, originally a generic nickname given to female broadcasters accused of spreading Japanese propaganda to the Allied Forces during WWII, became synonymous with American-born Iva Ikuko Toguri D'Aquino.

WGWR7Ch0
Fri 21 Jan 2022

It’s Astounding!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show returns to Oxford

It’s been a rollicking start to the year at The New Theatre. Hot on the heels of this week’s triumphant staging of 9-5, next week sees them welcome the touring production of Richard O’Brien’s legendary musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (24 – 29 January).

5. 9 to 5 The Musical. Sean Needham Franklin Hart Jr. and Stephanie Chandos Doralee Rhodes . Pamela Raith Photography hggu7r
Wed 19 Jan 2022

Happy Birthday Dolly! Today is officially ‘Dolly Day’ as the great singer/songwriter/actor/musician and humanitarian turns 76 (76!!)