The Light Princess

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Last week I went to see The Light Princess at the National Theatre in London. I'm a big fan of Tori Amos who wrote the music, so I was curious to see what kind of musical she would come up with. 

Playright Samuel Adamson and director Marianne Elliott (Curious Incident, War Horse) worked with Tori on the production, which is based on a 19th century Scottish fairy tale, written by George MacDonald.

It's a good old-fashioned once upon a time story... When her mother dies, Princess Althea is so grief-stricken that she becomes as light as air and can only float. On the other side of the kingdom, Prince Digby is so heavy after his mother's death that he cannot smile. I'll leave you to imagine the rest!

I wasn't really sure what to expect of the show, but it didn't disappoint. Plenty of colour, glitz and action lit up the stage. Some cool special effects and cartoon film imagery worked well. But it was the clever use of puppetry and the manipulation of the princess by black-clad actors to give the effect of floating, which really impressed me. Wires were used in parts, but mostly it was a team of (hugely strong!) actors who moved her around the stage. I loved that the director wasn't afraid to show this 'behind the scenes' aspect.

There was a definite air of Tori about the music, but she's also incorporated some typical muscial-style aspects into it ~ plenty of duets, big arias and impressive finishes.

It's a captivating production, which makes you laugh and cry in turn. There were some great comic touches and more than a dash of reference to our modern world slipped in throughout. 

But overall it's a happy show. I left the theatre contented and with that childhood feeling of satisfaction that it all had turned out well in the end. Good, old-fashioned fun ~ I highly recommend The Light Princess.

For more info on the show, dates & prices, click here. We got half price tickets via Time Out Offers.


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