Harold Pinter Theatre
28th June to 21st Sep 2024

New West End musical Your Lie in April beautifully fuses the classical masterpieces of Rachmaninoff with a stunning contemporary pop infused musical theatre score by Tony, Emmy and Grammy nominated composer Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde, Bonnie & Clyde).

Kosei Arima, the perfect piano prodigy dubbed the “Human Metronome” for his mechanical accuracy, has won many prestigious competitions, but he  loses his ability to hear music following the death of his mother. Can his friends help him return to the heights of his piano playing peak?

Your Lie in April is an epic love story about two young people trying to navigate their way in the world of classical music, underscored with Frank Wildhorn’s lushly, romantic music.”

Review by Richard Lambert, 4 Stars

This gushing love-story has a large band, large cast, large set, 12 associate producers and 8 producers. This seems to be a trend now to also “double-up” on the creatives: there are 2 sound designers, a musical supervisor, musical director and associate musical supervisor/associate musical director. Take a look at the list at the bottom of this review. Phew, how on earth does anyone slice up the tasks involved in putting together a production like this with so many people involved?

YOUR LIE IN APRIL does feel a little crammed in. It’s a small theatre, small auditorium, the man sat next to me and I got cozier than I’d normally expect. The set design is phenomenally gorgeous! It smacks of visual imagery, floral patterns and Japanese style. Definitely bringing the outdoors in and looking so beautiful. All of this enhanced by some beautiful video design both in the content and the install – hidden away but projecting across the set and merging into the show really tastefully.

The centre-piece of the stage being the grand piano. It’s ominipresence unwelcome when all the action has to side-step around it. A strange artistic choice by the director to not have it truck upstage out of the way occasionally. It revolves, its motorised lid opening and closing under remote control. Not only upstaging a lot of the action but also being mechanically positioned during the crescendo final moments of a scene to have it ready for the following scene. An artistic choice that was clumsy and rather distracting.

The choreography was obstructed by the piano, but despite this, the choreography was really funky and interesting. I’d loved to have seen more of the fabulous choreography.

Musically the band played the glorious music from an upper deck with an occasional on-stage promenade by the violinist. The actor playing Kosei (Zheng Xi Yong), also a brilliant pianist, played the piano beautifully.

Sometimes the show felt operatic, sometimes pop anthemic, sometimes like a classical concert. With minimal script but huge imagery it stays true to the manga origin. The story is somewhat slow in the first half and a tear-jerker in the second half. I still don’t know why his mother had a walking stick and died when the boy was so young, nor what was wrong with the girl who needed an operation and then died.

This show is a visual spectacle which deserves a bigger stage. I predict that this limited run will sell out so book your tickets quickly!

Photo credit: Craig Sugden

Further information:

Your Lie in April is based on one of the most popular romantic stories and greatest tearjerkers in Japanese manga history.

Composer Frank Wildhorn said: “Your Lie In April is a love letter to the beautiful power of music – to heal, to take us through life’s adventures, to create our most precious memories… I’ve never had more fun than creating this music!”Frank Wildhorn’s works span the worlds of popular, theatrical, and classical music. In 1999, Frank became the first American composer in 22 years to have three shows running simultaneously on Broadway with Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Civil War. Also for Broadway: Bonnie & Clyde, Dracula, Victor/Victoria, Wonderland, and the revival of Jekyll & Hyde. The Korea Times recently proclaimed Wildhorn as “Korea’s most popular musical composer”

Kōsei Arima – Zheng Xi Yong
Kaori Miyazono – Mia Kobayashi
Tsubaki Sawabe – Rachel Clare Chan
Ryota Watari – Dean John-Wilson
Kosei’s Mother – Lucy Park
Ensemble – Chris Fung, Eu Jin Hwang, Mairi Ikegami, Gracie Lai, Imogen Law Hing Choy, JoJo
Meredith, Daniel Nardone, Ericka Posadas, Ernest Stroud, Ria Tanaka, Kevin Tristan.
Young Kōsei / Little Boy – Timothy Jian Soon, Eion McLoughney, Theo Oh.
Musical Director / Conductor – Chris Poon
Keyboard 2 / Guitar 2 / Assistant Musical Director – Cerys McKenna
Keyboard 1 – Michael Riley
Guitar 1 – Nick Fitch
Bass Guitar / Double Bass – Annie Blake
Drum kit / Percussion – Zach Okonkwo
Violin 1 – Akiko Ishikawa
Viola / Violin – Wei Wei Tan
Cello – Hsiao Ling Huang
Woodwind – Jin Theriault
Creative & Production Team
Based on the Manga Your Lie In April by Naoshi Arakawa
Book by Riko Sakaguchi
English Language Book by Rinne B. Groff
Music by Frank Wildhorn
Lyrics by Carly Robyn Green and Tracy Miller (on same line, please)
Music Arrangement and Orchestration Jason Howland
Director and Choreographer Nick Winston
Co-Director Jordan Murphy
Musical Supervisor Katy Richardson
Musical Director / Conductor Chris Poon
Set Designer Justin WilliamsCostume Designer Kimie Nakano
Sound Designer Adam Fisher and Rob Bettle for Sound Quiet Time
Lighting Designer Rory Beaton
Video Designer Dan Light
Casting Director Harry Blumenau CDG CDA
Associate Lighting Designer Tom Turner
Assistant Lighting Designer Grace Levy
Associate Video Designer Lucy Rodgers
Animators Nathan Fernée and Isabel Sun
Associate Musical Supervisor & Associate Musical Director Chris Ma
Associate Director & Choreographer Tommy Franzen
Costume Supervisor Rachel Dickson
WHAM Supervisor Rebecca Rungen
Dramaturg, Back Translator and Cultural Consultant Yojiro Ichikawa
Pinnacle UK Consultant Thomas Hopkins
General Managers Carter Dixon McGill
Production Team
Production Manager Toby P. Darvill
Associate Production Manager Charlie Rayner
Company Manager Eric Lumsden
Stage Manager Sarah-Jane Ledbury
Deputy Stage Manager Hannah Halden
Assistant Stage Manager/Book Covers Jinwen Chen and Alex Jaouen
Head of WHAM Jessica McKeandHead of Wardrobe Wendy Phillips
Deputy Head of Wardrobe Brianna True
Wardrobe Assistant Charlotte Gregrory
Dressers Bito Florz and Constance Price
Head of Automation Sloane Jorba
Deputy Head of Automation Edward Corazza
Head of Sound Mike Poon
Sound No 2 Aiden Connor
Sound No 3 Sarah Atherton-Knight
Lighting Operator Joshua Hawkins-Lewis
LX and Video Swing Melissa Chan
Followspot Operators Richard Knight and Erica Daly
Chaperones – Aaron Blackmon and Debbie Richards
Orchestra Manager Rich Morris
Copyist Ian Hayter
Keyboard Programmer Lucy Baker-Swinburn for Hiro Iida
Health and Safety John Young Creative Industries Ltd
Production Automation and Programmer Jessie Caie
Automation Technician Guy Molony, Harvey Barker and Gareth Prentice
Video System Designer and Programmer – Mogzi
Lead Production Video Engineer Tom Fitch
Production Video Engineer Abigayle Holt
Design Associate and CAD Drawing Christophe Eynde
Design Assistant and 3D Rendering James RasaLead Production Carpenter Rich Owen
Production Carpenter Jim Boston, Dugald Watt and Ollie Walker
Lead Production Electrician Gaz Clowes
Production Electricians Ian Jardine and Matt Wright
Lighting Programmer Jack Ryan
Lead Production Sound Engineer Matt Bridgwater
Production Sound Engineer – Tom Meehan, Nathan Etherington, Dominic Beale, Thomas
Pickering and Matthew Rusell.
Lead Production Rigger Nico Campbell
Production Riggers Phill Harris and Sam Peace
Set Build – James Mansfield, Splinter, Scenapro, RT Scenic, MI Workshop and Mawford Arts.
Set Engineering – Dramatix and All Scene All Props
Sound and Video Supplier – Stage Sound Services
Lighting Supplier – Christie Lites
Automation Supplier – Absolute Motion Control
Rigging Supplier – MechStage
Crew – Upstage Crew
Transport – Southern Van Lines, EJS Courier and Luckings
Insurance – Tysers Retail Limited
Carter Dixon McGill Productions
Indie Theatricals
Pinnacle Productions
Tim Laczynski
Sophie Qi/Harmonia Holdings Ltd.Sophy Jiwon Kim/EMK Entertainment Co., Ltd.
Willette & Manny Klausner
The Broadway Investor’s Club/Neil Gooding
MatPat & Stephanie Patrick
Associate Producers
Susan Goulet
Annaleise Loxton
Whitney Kroenke Silverstein
Robert Hoffman
Garlu Productions
Scott Prisand/Rob Kolson
Greg DeLuca/Bertone Nascembeni
Mark & Analee Reutlinger/Chris Haman
Lettieri/Wilke/Stark O’Donnell
Steve Peters
Piers Cottee-Jones Entertainment
Production Photographer – Craig Sugden
Artwork Design – Rebecca Pitt
Artwork Photography – Matt Crockett