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The New Wimbledon Theatre

Amelie the Musical
4.0Reviewer's Rating

Based on the popular Oscar nominated Film, Amelie is the musical telling of a young French woman who creates intricate fantasy stories to protect her from the harsher and more hurtful sides of her life.

An ensemble cast who double as instrumentalists enter the streets of Paris 1997 set, (effectively designed by Madeleine Girling), which take us to shops, cafe’s ,train stations and confession booths in Amelie’s search for love and understanding. Audrey Brisson and Danny Mac sing and act impressively the wonderment of two people coming together, revealing the tender story’s theme of how the beauty of two connected people can replace the darker moments of life’s journey.

Adapted with great poetic wit by writer Craig Lucas, the story elevates everyday random events to wonderment, through the music and lyrics of Nathan Tyen and Daniel Messe’. Often bordering on the surreal, there is a unique moment where Amelie watches the funeral of the late Princess Diana and reaches into the television to borrow her tiara. Meanwhile a rollicking Elton John spoof (Caolan McCarthy) sings in an extravagant white feathered suit below, This is an example of one of the many original moments that Director Michael Fentiman executes with comic relish in a handsome transfer from the Watermill Theatre in Newbury.

Also memorable is Sophie Crawford’s song ‘I Can See Everything From Here’, as her character of Gina finally makes some realizations about her long lost love. The ensemble players elegantly switch roles and musical instruments, playing the accordian, violin, and cello of Barnaby Race’s haunting musical arrangements.

Perhaps there are moments in Act 1 where sound designer Tom Marshall could strengthen the amplification of the ensemble singing as we are digesting a lot of information quickly so occasionally lose words in the first half, which seemed to adjust by Act 2.

The skillful puppet design of young Amelie by Dik Downey and mood specific lighting design by Elliott Grigs create a unique musical about lonely hearts and souls coming together.

  • Musical
  • Book by Craig Lucas
  • Music by Daniel Messe'
  • Lyrics by Nathan Tyen and Daniel Messe'
  • Cast includes: Audrey Brisson, Danny Mac, Sophie Crawford
  • The New Wimbledon Theatre

About The Author

Reviewer (UK)

PHIL has worked as a Director, Writer, Dramaturg and a Producer. He was Artistic Director of London New Play Festival from 1989-2002 and editor of the new play collection Best of the Fest.

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One Response

  1. Mel Cooper

    Comment on Amélie: The Musical by Mel Cooper

    This show was reviewed a few weeks ago when it played the New Wimbledon Theatre. I caught it in Oxford in a much larger venue where the speed and precision of the words was, again, somewhat handicapped in the first act, but essentially I agree with the original review and believe that the show is going from strength to strength. I thought that in many ways the book, music and lyrics improved on the film, making it more through-provoking and engaging. Nothing can handicap the extraordinarily detailed and articulate performances by the entire ensemble. I only want to add that I think that even in an exceptionally talented cast, Audrey Brisson as Amélie and Danny Mac as Nino stand out for their star quality. Their physical and vocal agility are exceptional and completely captivating. The production is outstanding in its very original and imaginative staging. I thought the music and lyrics were very strong and enjoyable. It is touring extensively and I recommend it highly. I liked enormously the somewhat surreal, imaginative and visually brilliant presentation as well as the strong performances. I think I might just want to upgrade it to five stars!

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