IF you love actor musicians playing their socks off on a stage crowded with people and instruments, and if you loved Lady Di, you will probably be one of the whooping, squealing audience that adores Amelie, Watermill Theatre’s touring musical version of the award-winning film.
Most of the reviews of this Michael Fentiman production, on stage in Bristol until 20th July, have praised it to the hilt. It is certainly clever, with beautifully Parisian designs by Madeleine Girling, and a sparkling and charming central performance by Audrey Brisson.
All the clutter of constantly moving instruments, cleverly balanced cellos, two pianos and two accordions, plus lots of strings and a bit of brass, diminishes the chance of recapturing the fey, whimsical charm of the film, no matter how perfect the central performance.
The show (and it really is a “show” rather than a play or a musical) has some marvellously clever moments, some brilliant set piece scenes and great performances all round.
If it lacks the essential soul of the original, it obviously delighted the packed audience, who came in early and were so concerned with taking selfies against the beautiful Montmartre backdrop many almost missed the start of the action.
Amelie is back in our region at Bournemouth Pavilion from 12th to 17th August and at Nuffield Theatre Campus from 30th September to 5th October.
Photographs by Pamela Wraith