Epic new musical The Prince of Egypt has been brought to the Dominion Theatre stage with music by Stephen Schwartz. Adapted from the DreamWorks Animation film, it’s a powerful piece of theatre that celebrates belief and hope.
Telling the story of Exodus, we follow the story of two brothers Moses and Ramses in Ancient Egypt. After Ramses was born, his mother found the child of a Hebrew slave by the river and adopted him to be Ramses’ brother Moses. Raised together, when they discover they are suddenly divided by this secret past, we see their relationship fall apart. Ramses must rule as Pharaoh and his brother Moses has to rise up and free his ensalved people.
It’s a well-known but complex story that is told through bold staging and a riveting score. Stephen Schwartz’ music is made for the triumphant ensemble in this show. Charged with power and emotion, when the cast come together, their harmonies are breath-taking. Deliver Us is a standout number that paired with the choreography, proves the epic nature of this production.
Keven Depinet’s design is outstanding. It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen before and the sheer scale of the design is a spectacle in itself. It feels inventive yet simple as it leaves space for the story to really tell itself. Mike Billings’ lighting is incredibly innovative and brings the beauty of the story through striking design.
The stand-out performance in this show goes to the ensemble. It’s definitely the most dynamic and hard-working ensemble that I’ve ever seen on stage. Sean Cheesman’s choreography uses the ensemble to move with the story. Whether that’s playing characters in Ancient Egypt or using physical theatre to become the sea, sand and even the famous burning bush. It’s a production bursting with imagination and the athleticism of ensemble is unbelievable.
The relationship between Moses and Ramses is beautiful to watch, their brotherhood is so natural on stage. Luke Brady (Moses) and Liam Tamne (Ramses) have a fantastic rapport. Vocally, they complement Schwartz’ score sublimely – as if it was written for their voices.
Christine Allando’s sensationally unique voice and feisty nature brings real personality to the production and Tanisha Spring’s emotional performance as she sings about her son is a real emotional arch in the show. Alexia Khadime plays Moses’ birth sister Miriam and she brings poignancy to the production. The moment Khadime and Allando sing When You Believe is undeniably moving.
It’s certainly a piece of theatre worth seeing because of its sheer theatricality. It feels as huge as an opera, but it feels let down by its book. The dialogue is weaker than the rest of the production and I think the piece could be so much more powerful if Schwartz wrote it to be completely sang through.
The Prince of Egypt is a story that covers so many universal themes such as family, love, forgiveness and belief. This musical boasts extraordinary staging, a rousing ensemble and superb sound.
The Prince of Egypt is on at the Dominion Theatre until October 2020, tickets and information can be found on their website.