The Royal Shakespeare Company have brought the joy of theatre back into our lives with their beautiful new musical The Magician’s Elephant.
Everything about this production is done so exquisitely. With an outstanding cast, a striking set, detailed costumes, beautiful music and an inspiring story – it really has everything you need for the perfect musical this festive season.
Based on Kate DiCamillo’s prize-winning novel, it’s a truly gorgeous. Set in the town of Baltese, where nothing extraordinary happens, we follow the story of a young boy with big dreams named Peter. When one day a Magician conjures up an elephant from the sky, it changes the lives of the people of Baltese forever.
Jack Wolfe plays Peter Duchene and his performance is simply mesmerising. He creates a curious character with vulnerabilities that grows throughout the story as he discovers that happiness can be found in the most unexpected places. Marc Teitler and Nancy Harris’ music has so much variety and the songs sang by Jack Wolfe are stunning. Sung delicately and bursting with raw emotion, it was a true highlight to witness Jack’s poignant performance live.
It isn’t just the powerful ballads, but Teitler and Harris’ songs are brilliant. The opening number is punchy and memorable, setting the tone for the show and reminding audiences the beauty of being back at a live musical. The comedy song performed by the Policemen in act one, led by Forbes Masson is bouncy, dynamic and remarkably witty.
Melissa James and Marc Antolin give a touching performance as a couple desperately wanting a child. Sharif Afifi leads a spectacular dance number and Sam Harrison gives a show-stopping, hilarious performance in ‘The Count who Doesn’t Count.’ Summer Strallen is superb as the evil Countess Quintet as she brings thrilling humour and astonishing vocals to the production.
Bursting with magnificent magic tricks, visual effects and of course the breathtaking puppetry of the elephant. Mirroring the realistic quality of the National Theatre’s beloved War Horse, it’s a really astounding moment when we see the elephant for the first time.
Colin Richmond’s set design transforms you into the weird and wonderful world of Baltese. Richmond’s imagination is remarkable and his design makes it so easy to be completely immersed in the story. The RSC have pulled out all the stops to create such a special theatre experience.
The Magician’s Elephant is a completely captivating new musical. Perfect for all ages, it’s a refreshing new story that has humour, emotion and heaps of theatricality. It’s the ultimate escapism that took me on a moving journey, warmed my heart and reminded me why theatre is the closest thing we have to magic.
The Magician’s Elephant is on at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford Upon Avon until 1 January.
Photo by Manuel Harlan (c) RSC