The Other Palace, 04/01/2020
To round off a successful UK tour, Amélie The Musical is currently doing a 2 month run in The Other Palace, London. Unfortunately the tour didn’t reach Tyne and Wear so we booked our tickets for a day trip to see it in the capital and we were not disappointed! The show is based off the 2001 French speaking film of the same name; luckily the native language has been dropped for the musical and replaced with accents so it’s easier to understand. The story is of Amélie Poulain (Audrey Brisson), a shy Parisian waitress who takes great pleasure in anonymously improving stranger’s lives through small acts of kindness. This pass-time sees Amélie cross paths with one stranger who sparks more than happiness inside the heart of our introvert protagonist.
Filled with delightful charm and a wonderful soundtrack, we thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Check out our five reasons to see Amélie The Musical below!
1. The set design is wonderful
The intricate design of the set as you enter the auditorium feels much more than a standard stage; it’s as if they have chopped part of a 90’s Paris metro station and placed it in the theatre with every bolt and rustic beam on show. With great sound and lighting, we are plunged immediately into a metro scene as the show begins too! The remainder of the set is based from the two movable pianos on stage, cleverly using fold-out parts to become greengrocers or cigarette counters in the café whilst still being played as the instruments they are. The photo booth in the centre of the stage is changed slightly through the show to become other pivotal parts of scenes.
2. The whole cast are full of talent
Every cast member in this show is a triple threat! Top acting, beautiful singing voices and all able to play instruments too!? The talent in that room was insane! Not to mention some excellent puppeteering in the first act really brought the show to life. The harmonies by the cast are exquisite as they make every song in the show a real joy to behold. The choreography and staging are executed so well too, it all flows seamlessly and captures so much of each person’s talent. It’s also worth pointing out a pretty spot on (and hilarious) Elton John impression by Caolan McCarthy – we will let you try and figure out how they fit that one in!
3. Audrey Brisson as Amélie
Taking the title role, Audrey Brisson completely embodies everything about the character known from the film and makes Amélie instantly likeable with her quick wit and delicate personality. The charm and warmth of Amélie is portrayed wonderfully by Brisson as she effortlessly carries the show with impeccable acting and a beautiful voice. With French/Canadian heritage, the accent of Amélie comes through naturally, something that is so key in a show based in Paris with a French main character. By the end of the first act it seemed that Brisson was the only cast member without instrumental talent, but she then went and proved us wrong in act 2 by playing a beautiful song on the piano, “Halfway” all about her family, packed with emotion.
4. The soundtrack is gorgeous!
As alluded to earlier, the entire soundtrack is performed by the actors on stage! The songs are stripped back and played without electrical instruments, accompanied by a cajón (the small box you sit on and hit) for percussion. It makes for such an intimate feel and a unique way of performing the score. The lyrics of the songs are poignant and give a great depth to them, quite a few being fairly emotional too. Listening to the Broadway cast recording is nothing like seeing the songs performed this way in the UK version. We desperately want a cast recording of the way it’s performed here with the string instruments and French accents, it really is stunning!
5. It is so charming
This musical is packed with so many delightful scenes of positivity and paying it forward in what feels like a quaint French community, it’s so uplifting! Not only are we treated to heart warming scenes like these, there’s lots of comedy involved too. Amélie’s fear of finding love adds to the comedic scenes as the show comes to it’s climax – and speaking of which, there are a few scenes and jokes relating to that too, after all it is set in the city of love! A couple of the comedic scenes are also outright bizarre; personified figs and an oversized gnome spring to mind regarding this. All-in-all though, it’s a really fun musical that’s such a triumph. C’est fantastique!
Amélie The Musical is currently booking at The Other Palace until 1st February 2020, tickets can be booked at https://lwtheatres.co.uk/whats-on/amelie/ and they are running a lottery at the moment too, where you can enter for tickets at https://ameliethemusical.com/