When Manchester’s Finest was offered the chance to get a sneak preview of Amelie the Musical before it opens at the Opera House next month, we just couldn’t say no!
In fact, were just a little bit intrigued and excited to see how the 2001 Oscar nominated film transferred to the stage with the addition of songs.
Bradford’s traditional and picture-perfect theatre, the Alhambra, was the destination and one of the early stops on the productions tour. It didn’t take long for us to leave the northern city behind though as we fell into the charm of the show which transported the audience to the Parisian streets of Montmartre with an intricate set created by designer Madeline Girling, nodding to the wonderful visuals that fans of the film would be expecting.
It’s a story with dreamers at the heart of it, as protagonist Amelie observes the lives of people who come into the café, where she is a waitress, and tries her best to help them solve problems and find love.
Starring in the lead role of the shy ‘Miss Fix It’, is French-Canadian actress Audrey Brisson. Brisson is perfect for the role, not only with her authentic accent and her uncanny resemblance to Audrey Tatu (who originated the part of Amelie), she also has a loveable quirky manner and some wonderful facial expressions that say a thousand words.
When Amelie finds herself falling in love it is hard for her to comprehend and playing that love interest is former Strictly Come Dancing finalist Danny Mac, who has recently carved himself an impressive CV of musical roles from Sunset Boulevard to On the Town.
Mac excels with his vocals to Messe’s melodic score and brings an endearing quality to the part of Nino, a gentle soul who collects photobooth pictures of strangers.
There are some beautiful moments throughout, as we are introduced to a plethora of characters played by the talented ensemble, who not only sing and dance but also play the musical instruments onstage.
Watch out too for some impressive puppetry which brings alive flashback moments of Amelie of when she was growing up, tugging at your heart strings as we see her family’s lack of understanding and resistance to be kind.
If you haven’t seen the movie before seeing the show you will be forgiven at times for thinking you might have been slipped something you shouldn’t. There’s no doubting it’s a little ‘trippy’ and surreal in parts, for example the Three Figs song is built around the heads of people turning into figs plus part of the show features a giant gnome who takes himself on holiday around the world (see what I mean). But, if you go with it and let your imagination run wild for 2 hours, you will find yourself laughing, smiling and falling in love with the world of Amelie and all the lives she touches.
Amelie the Musical is guaranteed to sprinkle a little bit of magic into your life when it comes to Manchester and is a must for fans of the film and dreamers of all ages.
Runs from 6-10th August, Manchester’s Opera House
Amelie the Musical
Venue: Opera House
Dates: From 6th – 10th August