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Amélie The Musical - Leicester Haymarket - Review

Rating: *****

The touring musical production of Amélie brings Parisian charm to Leicester's delightful Haymarket Theatre.

Audrey Brisson (Amélie) centre with the company. Photo by Pamela Raith. 
The musical is a stage adaptation of the 2001 smash hit French-language movie which starred Audrey Tautou in the title role. This slick production under the direction of Michael Fentiman is delightful right from the get-go.

We follow the story of Amelie, a shy waitress who decides to change the lives of others for the better whilst battling her own shyness. A chance encounter with Nino, a quirky young man who collects discarded passport photos from booths, leads to a blossoming romance which carries much of the main plot. I really enjoy the theme of kindness that the show promotes, really reminds of the feeling Come From Away gave me.

Madeleine Girling's design takes us from the Metro stations to Amélie's flat and cafe workplace. It's a brilliant piece of design and the use of props and puppets (designed by Dik Downey) really enhance the vision of the piece. Elliott Griggs lighting is effective, especially for creating the feel of the Paris Metro. The whole time you completely forget that you're sat in a theatre in Leicester and feel like you're right transported to the beating heart of the City of Love.

The music by Daniel Messé with lyrics by Daniel and Nathan Tysen is divine. I was hooked as soon as the opening bars of the opening number "The Flight of the Blue Fly" began. One of the best musical scores I've heard in a long time which has been delightfully reworked for the UK run of the show. There are such power and beauty in the music which is excellently performed throughout by the talented cast of actor-musicians. The number "When The Booth Goes Bright" sung by Nino is sure to become a personal obsession of mine!

The hugely talented company are magnificent. Jez Unwin (Raphael/Bretodeau), Sophie Crawford (Gina), Johnson Willis (Collignon/Dufayel), Oliver Grant (Lucien/Mysterious Man/Gnome) and Josh Sneesby (Blind Beggar), Kate Robson-Stuart (Suzanne) all deserve mentions for their individual work. Caolan McCarthy gives a tremendous Elton John impression with act one closing number "Goodbye, Amelie". Singling out anyone from the cast is difficult as they all are vital clogs to the success of the performance.

Top: Left - Audrey Brisson (Amélie) and Danny Mac (Nino) Right - Audrey Brisson (Amélie) and Caolan McCarthy (Elton John)
Bottom: Left - Audrey Brisson (Amélie). Right - Danny Mac (Nino)
All Photos by Pamela Raith
Whilst the company is terrific its the two leading performances that shine the brightest. Danny Mac is wonderfully charming as Nino. He's got such a warm stage presence about him and dazzlingly good looks. His vocals are fabulous too. Audrey Brisson is spectacular in the title role. She is perfect casting, she oozes out all the right qualities of the character. She is so watchable and her performance is so special. Together Danny and Audrey play the romance of the character's superbly building to a moving finale in which the whole auditorium fell silent as the pair embraced.

This is a magnificent production, gloriously uplifting, like receiving a massive hug from a Parisian that leaves you feeling the purest happiness. Musical theatre doesn't get better than this. Perfection but just beware of the figs!

Amélie runs at Leicester's Haymarket Theatre until Saturday 13th July with tickets still available by clicking here. It continues touring with dates booking up till October - for the full tour schedule click here. The show will also transfer to London's The Other Palace from November 29th 2019 through till February 1st 2020.

1 comment

  1. First class review for what looks like a must see performance.



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