Tori Amos has joined the league of well known musicians flirting with the musical industry, I went down as an uninformed spectator to see “The Light Princess”, Tori Amos' debutante musical for the National Theatre. All I had to go on was the poster, posturing as front cover to Florence and the Machine’s fantastically lofty album “Lungs”.
Tori Amos be careful handling that camembert, you are just two hops away from the levels of cheesiness Bono often produces from his fromage factory. Even though the show cracked open with a safe number of “Everything is Changing”, with a bunch of Adam Ant’s Prince Charmings stomping furiously, this was not enough to distract me from the fact that I had ended up at a pantomime in early October! I have been duped Sir! Front stage acting, character stereotypes to put Little Britain to shame. During “Once upon a time” there was a carefree floating gravity defying princess who was unable to cry and on the other hand there a solemn prince who was rather into weeping, both are orphans and their kingdoms are at war with each other. Couldn’t be any further apart huh? The script is on par with predictability ofthe love mess that is a standard Jilly Cooper romp com. One tune that escaped the constant repetition of easy vocal ascending and descending was saved by Clive Rowe’s solo “Girls”, that was intoxicatingly amazing. No longer was I listening to a love child of Wicked and Hair who tried out opera, but an individual ballad of rich under tones that would have made Sam Gaillard proud.
The background heroes that brought the musical out of the ruins were Steven Hoggett, Neil Bettles and Paul Rubin, head choreography/aerial movement. Considering that the lead lady floats throughout the whole show you would need a dream team of gravity wizards to make it continuously believable. The costume and set designers were heavily influenced by Terry Pratchett Disc world book covers, so yes, I was pretty won over by that aswell. Please do check out the original twisted 18th Century Scottish fairy tale of the Light Princess here.
Review by India Harris