Reviewed by Katie Allen
I love the original, five-time Oscar®-nominated, film from 2001 so I was really looking forward to seeing Amélie The Musical. Also, unusually for me, I hadn’t heard much about the production although I had read recently that they had achieved a transfer to the West End for Christmas so I knew it would be top quality.
As we took our seats in the spacious theatre, we were impressed by the relatively simple set of a Parisian metro station with two pianos and, of course, the photo booth which play such an important part of the story.
The opening song “The flight of the blue fly” introduced us to the cast of multi-talented actor-musicians with the whole stage bursting with cellos, violins, accordions, guitars, percussion, flutes, and the aforementioned pianos. The music transported us straight into that Parisian station and I felt like we were inside the film.
The show is set in late Summer 1997 in Paris. Amélie is a waitress in a Montmartre café and, to make up for her social awkwardness, seemingly caused by her being home-schooled and an unusual relationship with her parents, she embarks on a series of altruistic missions. This is sparked by seeing the joy of an old man reunited with his childhood mementoes. Whilst helping others she also travels on her own journey of fulfilment.
All my favourite parts of the story are there but with a new charm that only live theatre can bring; raspberry fingers, suicidal fish, the blind man’s audio described walking tour of the city, and Renoir’s painting to name but a few.
The two leads, Audrey Brisson and Danny Mac, inhabit their roles and become Amélie and Nino completely. Audrey especially gives an outstanding performance and made me forget Audrey Tautou’s interpretation. Her Cirque du Soleil background is evident in the way she moves on stage and despite her diminutive stature she fills the stage with her charisma.
J’aime ce spectacle. Every aspect was spot on. The music, the cast, the set, lighting, choreography, art direction all of it worked together to create a perfect piece of art. It was quirky, charming, eccentric, funny, poignant and overall full of joy.
We love the New Victoria Theatre in Woking. If you’re more used to the older style theatre with small seats and no legroom, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised at this modern space. The theatre itself is within a shopping centre and next to a cinema giving a great atmosphere as you walk into the box office and allowing many options for dinner pre-show. There are bars and toilets on many levels and the middle level had a piano player playing show tunes which added a sophisticated ambiance reminding me of a cruise ship.
We usually drive and park in the Peacock’s shopping centre Multi Storey next door with their flat fee of £1.40 after 7pm however this time we decided to take the train which worked really well as the station is only a short 5-10 minute walk away and allowed us to have a couple of glasses of wine.
Tickets cost from £13 (plus £3.65 transaction fee).
Amelie The Musical is at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking from 27-31 August 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/new-victoria-theatre or call the box office on 0844 871 7645.
New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6GQ