Amélie Production Photos – Pamela Raith Photography
With music and lyrics by Daniel Messé, lyrics by Nathan Tysen and a book by Craig Lucas, Amélie the musical is based on the 2001 Academy Award nominated romantic comedy movie of the same name.
The musical premiered in 2015 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and opened for a four week run at the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway in 2017. A new interpretation of the musical including new orchestrations is currently touring the UK.
The story tells the tale of a young girl, Amélie, who is protected as a child by her mother and father who wrongly diagnose her with a heart condition. This restrictive life results in Amélie creating her own imaginary world full of vibrant characters. As a painfully shy young woman, she moves to Paris and becomes a waitress. In her new apartment Amélie finds treasure belonging to the previous occupant, and on seeing his reaction when she returns this to him, she sets out to make other people happy by secretively performing small acts of kindness. On the way Amélie meets Nino but how can romance blossom, when she cannot start a conversation? Amélie realises that in order to find her own true happiness she will have to risk everything and say what she really feels.
Director Michael Fentiman has created a flawless quirky Parisian masterpiece of a musical that had the Birmingham audience leap to their feet for a standing ovation at the end of the show. Designer Madeleine Girling helped transport the audience to the beautiful streets of Paris with simple effective scenery, with key features such as Amélie’s bedroom, a circular window hovering at the top of the set, a lowering lampshade to whisk Amélie away and a retro photobooth.
What makes this production so wonderful is the outstanding ensemble of actor musicians, some who play multiple roles. There is nothing that I love more than a band on stage, fully immersed in the action of the show. Under the direction of Musical Director, George Francis, this exceptional ensemble brought this poetic score to life. The movement from this cast, under the direction of Movement Director Tom Jackson Greaves, was beautiful to watch as they used their body and instruments to convey the hustle of the city to the relaxed afternoons at the Parisian Café.
Audrey Brisson as Amélie is in a league of her own. She delights the audience with her quirky charm and magnetic charisma capturing every essence of the much loved character that is Amélie but still making the role her own. Her voice is outstanding as she tackles the complex songs with ease and style. I really did enjoy the chemistry between Audrey and Danny Mac as her love interest Nino. Having seen Danny in a few roles on stage now, it was nice to see him in a different style of musical and he portrayed Nino with a perfect sensitivity.
Amélie the musical is a love letter to the much loved film and characters. It is refreshing, whimsical and immersive, full of laughter, charm and heart. The audience around me adored this production, with many comments and gasps of joy as they fully immersed themselves in the show. The audience get a chance to escape into the fantastical imagination of Amélie for an evening and what an escape it is. Don’t miss this!
Theatreatstic rating 5/5:
We say: “Amélie is a whimsical wonder of a musical with an outstanding cast! ”