The Light Princess formed my first ever trip to the National. I adored it, its concrete clad exterior, its ticket machines (all theatres should make such an investment), its shop, its restaurant etc. etc. I definitely hope to go back soon!
Let me say now that I enjoy nothing more than taking to my seat for a new musical with absolutely no expectations about what the next few hours have in store. My favourite moments in life occur when such gambles morph into a few hours of theatrical bliss. This was definitely one of those times.
The Light Princess is a new musical by Tori Amos and Samuel Adamson; set in a fairy tale world we follow the life of princess Althea of Lagobel and Prince Digby of Sealand through the trials of love and conflict and conflict in love.
Althea is the ‘Light’ Princess, that is the plot revolves around her lack of gravity. I was mesmerised by the manner in which this weightlessness was portrayed on stage. With the help of four acrobats (and some wires, but most of the time just acrobats) Rosalie Craig delivers an extraordinary vocal performance whilst effortlessly floating around the stage. The best leading performance I have seen all year.
The rest of the cast held their own in comparison. In what I presume is a relatively difficult show to sing (it’s pretty much sung through, with a lot of belting!) there was no obvious weak link. My attention was particularly drawn to Amy Booth Steel as Piper (Althea’s faithful companion) and Clive Rowe as Althea’s misguided but eventually loving father.
I enjoyed the music, but it didn’t remain in my head. At times it was difficult to distinguish where one song finished and another began. Having said that, in the moment, I was loving it and I’m sure with a cast recording and a further listen it would become a firm favourite of mine.
I would recommend this show simply for its set and staging. Upon entry to the Lyttleton auditorium, the colourful set transports the audience to a magical far away land. With staging tricks integral the plot, some beautiful animations and puppetry similar to that of war horse; your eyes will be treated to some unique treasures that will continue to pop up in your mind for weeks after you’ve left the theatre.
I loved it and would love to go again.
To add to my already mesmerising experience; we were treated to the Lord Mayor’s fireworks display over the Thames soon after exiting the theatre. The best fireworks display I’ve ever witnessed. A truly great day!
You can now relive this production of The Light Princess via the Original Cast Recording*!