This new British musical inspired by poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is filled with plenty of fun and magic.
This enchanting new musical featuring music by Ben Morales Frost and a book and lyrics by Richard Hough has plenty to offer audiences in terms of an engaging story, charming use of effects and a cast who bring it to life with such joy.
Directed with great playfulness and heart by Charlotte Westenra, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice follows the relationship and story of Eva and her father Johan as they work to repair their relationship in order to work together to save their town from collapsing and to bring back the Northern Lights.
From the very beginning, this family friendly musical uses plenty of creativity and imagination to bring the magic to life in a way that will grab younger members of the audience’s attention. With the help of Scott Penrose as the magic consultant, moments such as when Eva makes flowers bloom in her home and make the brooms dance – are really mesmerising and charming to watch.
Moments like this are wonderfully entwined in a story that raises the message of the importance of protecting things of value – particularly with regards to the environment (with the Lyddeker family trying to force progress forward – but at the expense of availability of the Aurora light). It has been intelligently written in a way that still makes it fun and accessible for audiences of all ages thanks to a playful sense of humour shown through characters such as the child like Fabian Lyddeker that adds a silliness to proceedings and stops it from becoming too sombre.
There is of course a real heart about the show as well thanks to Ben Morales Frost and Richard Hough’s music and lyrics, which highlight the key points of the story and character’s relationships effectively. In particular, ‘Invisible’ reveals a lot of how Eva feels about her father ignoring her, while in contrast to this later on Johan sings about his grief and why he can hardly look at his daughter due to being reminded of her mother. All of the songs cover all sides of the story well. Each song has a real strong purpose and fitting in with the wider story nicely including the charming ‘Spellbound’ and ‘Magic in the Air’ really sets the scene nicely at the beginning.
Thanks to Clancy Flynn’s creative and warm lighting design enhances the magic of the show nicely, while Ella Wahlstrom’s sound design adds nice detailing to the production – particularly during the moments of magic.
Throughout the show, the performances of the cast are joyful to watch and filled with an infectious energy that keeps the audience thoroughly engaged. In particular, Marc Pickering as Fabian (who is very much dominated by his mother) adds plenty comedy to scenes with his slightly exaggerated mannerisms that is immensely enjoyable, while Mary Moore as Eva delivers a passionate and insightful performance that is engaging to watch. There is also strong support from Dawn Hope as the opinionated Lamia really capturing the character’s development over the course of the show nicely, while David Thaxton highlights the complexities of Johan’s emotions with great thought.
Overall, this new musical has been designed to enchant and entertain audiences and does so effectively from start to finish.
By Emma Clarendon
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is available to stream through Stream.Theatre until the 14th March. Update: due to popular demand, the musical will get a second digital run from 25th March to 11th April. It will also be available to stream North America through streaming platform Stellar.