Amour, 5 Stars

Charing Cross Theatre
2nd May to 20th July 2019

“Paris, 1950 – a shy, unassuming civil servant, Dusoleil, lives alone and works diligently in a dreary office. To pass the time, he writes letters to his mother and daydreams about the beautiful Isabelle, who is kept locked away by her controlling husband. When Dusoleil miraculously gains the ability to walk through walls, he not only begins to lead a double life, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor to right the wrongs of his war-impoverished Parisian neighbours, but also gains the self-confidence to woo Isabelle and, just for a while, live the life he has always longed for.”

Review by Richard Lambert, 5 Stars

Ticking all the boxes comes this beautifully crafted theatrical production of AMOUR from Danielle Tarento. With music by Michael Legrand it’s a delightful piece of musical theatre. With plenty of comedy throughout it delivers an interesting juxtaposition between musicality and lyrics – what might appear as a clash on paper brings laughter in performance. In the style of The Two Ronnies, there are plenty of misdirections towards something rude which change at the last minute to something more suitable for polite company.

A love story, of course, between a young woman trapped in a marriage to an older misogynist and the hero of the story, Dusoleil. It’s a fairy tale set in Paris.

Rob Halliday‘s lighting design is a masterclass in tightly controlling moving lights which have small beam angle. He gives the musical a film noir expression. There are a lot of lighting cues and thankfully a fantastic cast who know how to hit their marks and find their lights. A very dynamic design which matches the energy of the piece. The addition of warmer tones, particularly in Isabelle’s ballads, are just perfect. Even when colour is added at key points the overall style of the production never falters. With light fixtures rigged all around on many different levels this versatile rig was put through its paces and leaves a lasting impression! The photo below says it all really – you see what Rob Halliday wants us to see and the space in-between is dark. Such a treat to see this level of skill!

Very few Set pieces and props are supplied, however, the very clever staging and use of simple items such as chairs and umbrellas create all that is needed. All of this comes from inventive imagination and is quite brilliant.

The outstanding element of the show is the Choreography!!! It is endless and meshed throughout! Matt Cole has created wonderful Choreography and Staging even though the cast may not be dancers. (The cast’s singing is first rate!)

And a standout performance from Claire Machin who steals the show every time she has her principal spots in the show. Taking on the roles of “Claire” and “Whore” she is both charismatic and charming with a voice to die for! Yes, the libretto has given her the best opportunities but that doesn’t detract from the brilliant use she makes of these moments!

With the theatre once again in traverse nobody is left at the back of the auditorium feeling like they’re in another room. All seats are now at a comfortable viewing distance for the show.

This delightful musical is a fairytale for everyone to enjoy.

(Photo Credit Scott Rylander)

Credit Information:
Gary Tushaw will play Dusoleil
Anna O’Byrne will play Isabelle
Alasdair Harvey will play the Prosecutor, Isabelle’s controlling husband.

Elissa Churchill
Claire Machin
Keith Ramsay
Steven Serlin
Alistair So
Daniel Stockton
Laura Barnard
Jack Reitman

Creative team:
Director Hannah Chissick.
Choreographer Matt Cole.
Production Designer Adrian Gee.
Lighting Designer Rob Halliday.
Sound Designer Andrew Johnson.
Musical Director Jordan Li-Smith.
Producer/Casting Director Danielle Tarento.
Music by Michel Legrand
Libretto by Didier van Cauwelaert
Adapted from Le Passe-Muraille
by Marcel Aymé
(Les Éditions Gallimard)
English adaptation by Jeremy Sams

Charing Cross Theatre
The Arches
Villiers Street
London WC2N 6NL
Box office: 08444 930650

Thursday 2 May – Saturday 20 July, 2019

Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Matinees Wednesday at 2.30pm
and Saturday at 3.00pm

Ticket prices

2-7 May (previews) all tickets £22.50
From 9 May £22.50-£32.50

Upgrade your ticket to include a glass of
bubbly and a programme for just £7.50

A booking fee applies to phone and internet
orders; no booking fee to personal callers

The box office is open from 2 hours
before curtain time on performance days for
personal callers

Amour was originally produced on Broadway by
The Shubert Organization, Jean Doumanian
Productions, Inc. and USA Ostar Theatricals

Presented by arrangement with

Further Information:
Adapted from a 1943 short story Le Passe-Muraille by Marcel Aymé, Amour opened on Broadway in 2002 and was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Michel Legrand, who sadly passed away, aged 86, on 26 January 2019, was predominantly a jazz musician and film composer with 200 film and television scores to his credit. In a prolific career he won three Oscars  – Best Original Dramatic Score: Summer of ‘42, Best Original Song Score Yentl and Best Song The Windmills of Your Mind from The Thomas Crown Affair – and five Grammys.
He made his Broadway debut with Amour. Other West End musicals include The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg and Marguerite, with Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg (creators of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon).

Producer Danielle Tarento said “Whilst I am so delighted to be producing this beautiful show, there is a tinge of sadness that Michel never got to see Amour in London, something that he
sorely wanted. I hope the production serves as a fitting tribute to this extraordinary man.”