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The Time Traveller’s Wife The Musical - Review

Reviewed by Amelia Bascombe
Disclaimer: tickets were gifted in return for an honest review.

Based on the 2003 debut novel by American author Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveller's Wife has experienced life in many different art forms. Now a musical, originally opening at Storyhouse in Chester last year, the production takes inspiration from both the book and the 2009 film. 

The company. Photo by Johan Persson

Director Bill Buckhurst joins forces with Joss StoneDave StewartKait Kerrigan and Nick Finlow (music and lyrics) to bring the well-known story of Clare and Henry to the stage.
The fundamentals of the Henry and Clare’s relationship could be compared to that of a toxic one, where one person consistently disappears and leaves the other to despair. And while that’s what the original author used as inspiration, we can be certain that the parallel is not deliberate in the musical when they’re belting romantic ballads and projecting love hearts onto the set. 

Joanna Woodward portrays Clare impeccably well and gives a heart wrenching performance, especially amidst the tragedies of act two. Her enchanting voice is enough to carry the show alone, and the way she delivered ‘I’m In Control’ was sublimeDavid Hunter is heart-warming and charming as Henry, and the pair work marvellously together in crafting a believable romance. This is at its peak when Alba is introduced (played by the brilliant Holly-Jade Roberts at this performance) and the three create a wonderful family on stage.

Their sincerity is complimented by Tim Mahendran and Hiba Elchikhe as Gomez and Charisse respectfully. Although brilliant comic reliefs, we dont delve into their characters enough to understand the motives behind their views and values. It’s unclear whether Gomez actually wants to be with Clare at some points, and relationship between him and Charisse is not built on many obvious foundations. They have the potential to feel like way to stop the production from just being inherently depressing

Joanna Woodward (Clare) and David Hunter (Henry). Photo by Johan Persson

Moreover, I’m assuming they’r hoping we don’t overthink the fact that an adult Henry is often visiting Clare as a child; turning up naked each time he does. Thankfully he instructs her to leave him clothes after the first meet cute, but it’s difficult to just breeze past how weird it actually is. I also wasn’t too impressed with how Clare’s sexual assault was dealt with, putting much more focus on the aftermath and Henry’s own reaction than Clare herself.

The innovative set and projection designs are a driving force for the productions overall value, and Chris Fisher’s ingenious illusions will keep you on the edge of your seat. ‘Journey Man’ is an absolute highlight, using Andrzej Goulding’s bold projections to whisk you through what feels like an extravagant music video. The staging can sometimes feel empty with quite a small ensemble but some of the immaculate harmonies throughout somewhat make up for this.

Albeit a semi sci-fi take on relationships, the tale of love and loss is one that everyone can relate to. The belief that some people always travel with us even when they’re gone is a value many can hold dear to their heart. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️ and 1/2

The Time Traveller’s Wife runs through to 30 March 2024 at London’s Apollo Theatre. You can find tickets at

LtoR Tim Mahendran (Gomez), David Hunter (Henry) & Hiba Elchikhe (Charisse). Photo by Johan Persson

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