Review: Princess, LOST Theatre

“So you think you can be a princess?”

Caught somewhere between theatre and dance, art installation and gay club extravaganza, Stuart Saint’s Princess makes for a fascinating project, conceived as a response to traditional Disneyfied notions of fairytale femininity and finding something altogether more Grimm at its heart. Accompanied by a pulsing 80s-influenced electropop score by Saint, who also directs and choreographs, it’s a show full of striking moments.

It’s also a faintly perplexing show – a detailed synopsis in the programme offers clues as to what is happening once we’ve gone down the rabbit hole but even so, the narrative thread is hard to follow. Matters aren’t helped by the talented company having to multi-role their way through the mash-up of storybook tropes, too often lacking the time to give characters the necessary definition before the next costume change and then the next. Continue reading “Review: Princess, LOST Theatre”

Review: The Water Babies, Curve

“If I drop from the sky, nobody may care but will they catch me”

Under Paul Kerryson, Leicester’s Curve Theatre really has become the incubator for some great musical theatre, reinventing stale classics like Chicago and Hairspray and hosting significant premieres like Finding Neverland and now a new version of Charles Kingsley’s children’s novel The Water Babies. Boasting an impressive array of special effects, a stridently modern score from Chris Egan and a fresh take on the story by Ed Curtis (who also directs) and Guy Jones, it makes for a interesting new entry into the world of British musical theatre. 

The show borrows liberally from Kingsley’s original morality tale of Tom, an orphaned young ne’er-do-well who is framed for a crime he did not commit and whilst fleeing capture, finds his only choice is to dive into a waterfall whereupon he discovers a new world. That underwater world uses in turn inspiration from the 1978 animated version of the story, as Tom is forced to journey through a series of challenges, aided and abetted by talking sea creatures as he searches for the mysterious Water Babies who hold the key to a better understanding of himself and thus his future. Continue reading “Review: The Water Babies, Curve”