Dave Stewart and Joss Stone Create a Musical Paradox, while Imaginative Direction Shines
The tangled chronicles of “The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical” present a delightful challenge for the uninitiated. Adapted by the accomplished American playwright Lauren Gunderson, this romance relentlessly juggles through different eras. Henry, plagued by a mysterious condition that propels him through time, vanishes intermittently, leaving his soulmate, Clare, in bewilderment. This complex love story provides captions to navigate the ever-shifting ages of the lovers. However, they merely offer a hint of orientation.
Die-hard fans of Audrey Niffenegger’s book may seamlessly embrace the musical’s time-bending voyage, with standout performances by the cast. Joanna Woodward, in the role of Clare, delivers powerful and memorable performance, though the overall soundtrack lacks the catchy tunes you’d anticipate from these seasoned musicians. David Hunter as Henry injects moments of comedy into the narrative, and the closing scenes carry a genuinely affecting punch. Hiba Elchikhe, portraying Clare’s close friend Charisse, seizes her moment with the soulful “A Woman’s Intuition.” Special recognition goes to adorable young actress Ava Critchell who portrays Clare as a child. Her interactions with the adult actors add a heart-warming charm to the production. These moments between young and adult Clare tug at the heartstrings.
The production itself is an imaginative feat. The show’s producer, Colin Ingram, had a hand in the time-bending triumph “Back to the Future: The Musical.” Director Bill Buckhurst and his team make exceptional use of the stage space to portray the protagonist’s disappearing acts, leaving audiences intrigued and engaged. The show boasts a flying sports car that adds an extra dose of spectacle. Anna Fleischle’s imaginative sets are the perfect backdrop for the production.
In “The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical,” the musical score is a perplexing paradox. Written by the renowned musicians Dave Stewart and Joss Stone, one would expect nothing less than a sensational musical journey. It’s somewhat ironic that the masterminds behind iconic songs have crafted a score that fails to leave a lasting memory. As the final note fades, you won’t find yourself humming any of the tunes.
In “The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical,” while the music may not linger in your memory, the exceptional performances and imaginative direction create a captivating experience. Time may not stand still, but you’ll find yourself cherishing these moments at the theatre.
Apollo theatre, London, until 30 March
Performances: Mondays – Saturdays at 7.30pm*, Wednesday & Saturday matinees at 2.30pm**
(*No performance on Monday 9 October; **No Wednesday matinee on 11 October)
Email: email@example.com | Phone: 0330 333 4809 | Tickets from: £25