REVIEW | Amélie The Musical, UK Tour

10 July 2019

Photo Credit: Pamela Raith
Amélie The Musical 
Haymarket Theatre, Leicester
★★

My first memories of the Amélie story stem from watching the five-time Oscar nominated 2001 film in school. I remember watching the French film through French studies at high school and having to read the captions. So it's really exciting that this film has been adapted for British audiences in an exciting UK tour thanks to Selladoor, an award-winning production company. 

Amélie is the story of an astonishing young woman who goes along quietly amongst the world but lives loudly within her mind. She secretly improvises small, but extraordinary acts of kindness that bring happiness to those around her. However, a chance of love falls at her feet and Amélie realises that if she is to find her own contentment she'll have to risk everything and vocalise what's in her heart. 

This inspiring new production takes on impeccable storytelling and fantastic French-esque accents with the actors and music that really brings the setting to life. For those who are seeing Amélie for the first time, this production does an excellent job in telling you the story without being overwhelmed with different sub-plots and ideas that some musicals have. Although there are some really pensive moments, Amélie definitely delivers in humour too. I couldn't quite believe how many times I laughed out loud watching this show, it's exceptionally adapted from the film in that sense. The story is very straight forward and with the help of actor-musicians live on stage it has a fantastic pace to it (especially as most of the musical is sung and has little narrative), without losing the attention of the audience. The music was one part of the musical I was immediately drawn to, it's gorgeous and certainly catchy with some wit thrown in there too. I have loved listening to some of the songs also included in the Broadway production since watching the musical! 

Photo Credit: Pamela Raith

Photo Credit: Pamela Raith

The 16 actor-musicians fill the stage with their exceptional music talent as well as acting - some of which double up in roles throughout the production too! The live music on stage was a great element to the Amélie story and context in which the story is set. 

Taking on the title role as Amélie is Audrey Brisson - not only is she remarkable in the role but her likeness to actress Audrey Tautou who played the role in the 2001 film is oustanding.  She really embodies the adorability and curiosity of Amélie's characteristics. She has a gorgeous tone to her voice, shown perfectly in Times Are Hard for Dreamers and Stay. Her vocal ability fills the auditorium and there's a real movement style that she integrates into the musical that gives her so much more than your usual leading lady. Unlike many of whom I don't see move through scenes like Brisson did. 

Alongside her is Danny Mac, who has performed in Leicester on a few occasions now in fantastic productions such as White Christmas and Sunset Boulevard. Nino Quincampoix is a completely different character for Mac but he executes it superbly. His renditions of Where Do We Go From Here and The Booth Goes Bright shows his real versatility as a leading man. Nino's character is very gentle and reserved and I really enjoyed how Mac captured this in his own way. 

The entire show is a fantastic collective of what can be achieved from a production on such a smaller scale. The relationship with the Set and Lighting designer really conjures up the feeling of loneliness and desperation in Amélie's story as well as sprinkling some magic in there too! Madeleine Girling is an incredibly talented Set designer who has generated a set that is more than just the backdrop. Oh boy, the pianos became fantastic tools for visual shortcuts between different scenes in the story and I was amazed by the practicality of what Girling had created. The transition to Amélie's apartment delivered quite the wow factor too! Giving it the warmth is gorgeous lighting as well. 

Photo Credit: Pamela Raith
In an exciting time where so many new musicals are emerging in the UK, Amélie certainly finds its own place as one to watch! It contains all of the right fine details for a touring production that is on the standard of a West End musical. Amélie is a phenomenal musical with so much to give and something I could definitely watch over and over. Amélie is well due a West End transfer please!

Don't miss out on the opportunity to watch the Amélie UK Tour. You can find out about dates and book your tickets here 

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