amilie malvern

Amélie  – the Musical

Malvern Theatres


It is amazing that the young Amélie is not a complete mess after growing up as an only child of a germaphobic father and neurotic mother. It is no surprise she turns in on herself and becomes isolated and emotionally detached from everyone and from life. In this context she develops an internal dialogue and inhabits a world of her own.

Eventually she moves to Montmartre in Paris and works in a café with Suzanne, Georgette and Gina. As a romantic tale, the story takes off when Amélie sees Nino, played with a studious air by Danny Mac,  for the first time; she seems to espy him more than once at the train/metro station and is immediately captivated by him. On the second such occasion she scoops up his mislaid photo album and holds on to it possessively.

The later stages of the story depict her seeking him out nervously, her attempts to lead him to her by a variety of clues, and his trying to engage with her despite her elusiveness. The final denouement is the satisfying and anticipated, though long-awaited, conclusion to a romantic comedy that is full of colour, music and innovation.

This production is hugely entertaining and colourful. The set that greets the audience on arrival is impressive: the immediate feeling of being in Paris is generated by the decor and the designer has created a brilliant set that provides a range of entrances, a rotating photobooth and elements that surprise and amuse. Madeleine Girling has done a brilliant job.

One of the striking elements in this superb show is the versatility and skills of the whole cast. All 16 cast members are talented musically and provide the refreshing and varied live music for the show. They are playing instruments, often switching between different instruments, while singing and moving, if not dancing, around the set in a mesmerising, lively and brilliant manner.

The style of the show is staccato, upbeat and witty. In this the lighting is cleverly designed by Elliott Griggs to highlight the staccato singing and movements, which all add to the humour and vivacity of the show.


Audrey Brisson  as Amélie with Danny Mac as Nino. Pictures: Pamela Raith Photography

The music and songs have a wide variety of tones and styles which enhance the story.

The cast are led by Audrey Brisson (Amélie). Her fabulous singing voice and humour are delightful, her acting controls the stage, and her shyness and hesitancy in seeking Nino create suspense and charm. Their final discovery of each other arrives in a heart-warming and satisfying moment of prolonged silence.

The ensemble cast are colourful, varied and hugely talented. Jez Unwin (Raphael) and Rachel Dawson (Amandine) caught the eye as Amélie ’s eccentric parents, Caolan McCarthy as the poet Hippolito, was also an hilarious Elton John, Johnson Wells as grocer Colignon with his nightmare figs doubling up as Dufayel, the Glass Man, the artist with brittle bone disease – all part of an excellent cast who brought colour, humour and variety to this very entertaining story.

This show includes other elements such as puppetry.  Director Michael Fentiman has done an excellent job of bringing these many elements together. The cast completely won over the audience with their performances and the show deserves full houses for the rest of the week.  Don’t miss it! It runs at Malvern Theatres to 03-08-19.

Timothy Crow


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