We round up the reviews for the production based on Yann Martel’s novel now playing at the Wyndham’s Theatre.  

Photograph: Johan Persson

The Guardian: *** “under Max Webster’s direction, the stage is full of energy and surprise.”

The Independent: **** “Every flick of the tail and padding of paws somehow carries the same weight as the real thing.”

Evening Standard: **** “Director Max Webster fuses sublime puppetry from War Horse’s Finn Caldwell, clever projection, and masterly stage design by Tim Hatley to bring the story to vibrant visual life. The performers throw their whole bodies into it.”

Time Out: **** “This stage version of Yann Martel’s Booker Prize winner has to stand as one of the most visually stunning theatre shows I’ve ever seen, especially in the feverishly beautiful second half in which eponymous hero Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific on a lifeboat inhabited only by him and a ferocious tiger named Richard Parker.”

Variety: “Because the internal monologue that a novel offers has to be turned into direct speech, Martell’s original, philosophical debate doesn’t always sit easily within the action. But what you lose in contemplative metaphysical questioning, you gain in the astonishing, constantly surprising magic of the show’s sheer theatricality. Pi’s journey was 227 days. This run — and, one immediately assumes, others worldwide — are likely to be a great deal longer.”

London Theatre1: ** “The story was told strangely. I remember the book setting up this purgatorial experience as a philosophical, thoughtful meditation on loneliness and human desperation. The film captured some of this, but the big attraction of the film was the beauty. This play does grasp at this, and at moments the stage is gorgeous, but for many reasons, the look of the play did not blow me away. I do not think the writing helped this. A lack of depth and character development meant that individuals did not stay with me as I left. And while the limitations of the stage are worth noting, the limitations of language are minimal, and the writing (Lolita Chakrabarti) has failed to explore this.”

London Theatre.co.uk: **** “The detailed physicality is riveting, particularly the tiger, whose joints uncoil like springs as he pounces on his prey before curling up to lick his paws. Equally impressive is the way that it conveys the rich inner lives of these animals. I’m afraid to say I immediately overinvested in the doomed goat – a rookie error. But that’s the point here: we must meet the production with our own imagination and empathy, to be part of the team effort.”

The Upcoming: **** “This stage adaptation reminds viewers that Martel’s novel is a classic in contemporary fiction, an inspiring philosophical story and a testament to the strength of the human spirit.”

Culture Whisper: *** “What makes Life of Pi soar on stage, though, is the theatrics: Tim Hatley’s set design, Tim Lutkin’s lighting, Andrzej Goulding’s videography and Finn Caldwell masterful puppetry all fit together like pieces of a puzzle to make this show spectacular – and are worth the ticket price alone.”

Broadway World: **** “Life of Pi may not have all the philosophical depth of the original book, but it is visually astonishing, quietly moving and an astounding homage to stagecraft.”

iNews: **** “Yet everything glows, and there’s a mythical potency here that keeps you rapt – and the ingenuity of the theatre artistry is spellbinding.”

The Reviews Hub:**** “Life of Pi is a sumptuous, visual treat for the senses, a remarkably vivid recreation of a classic novel, and an effective reminder that sometimes the stories we tell ourselves are stronger than the truth.”

The Arts Desk: **** “It’s striking that Martel, like Neil Gaiman, has been inspired by both myths and religious texts to create an anti-rationalist narrative that taps into the emotions with a magical, otherworldly energy. Of the two shows now playing in the West End, I’d say that Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane packs a stronger emotional punch overall, but there are plenty of transcendent moments here and the reveal at the end is as sobering as it is jaw-dropping.”

London Unattached: “This production, directed by Max Webster, is one not to miss.  We were impressed by every aspect, from the simple yet effective set design (Ross Ewards and mesmerising lighting (Tim Lutkin) to the brilliant interpretation of Yann Martel’s work by Lolita Chakrabarti.  It’s engaging, provocative and thought-provoking – and yet still great entertainment.  Isn’t that the hallmark of a great piece of theatre?”

The Telegraph: **** “The celebrated adaptation of Yann Martel’s Booker winner makes a stunning transition to the West End.”

West End Best Friend: ***** “Whilst the outcome of this story is left ambiguous, this, we believe, is intentional, leaving the audience to question which version of events they themselves prefer. The piece poses questions about belief and therefore lends itself perfectly to the medium of theatre, where puppets must be used where live animals can’t be, and we are active participants in creating the world in which performance takes place.”

The Stage: ***** “Puppetry, projection and magic combine to stunning effect in a superlative stage adaptation of Yann Martel’s book.”

All That Dazzles: ***** “Quite honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from Life of Pi. While I liked the film, I wasn’t confident it could be convincingly recreated on stage. Boy, was I wrong! With some of the best staging I have ever seen, incredibly puppetry, beautiful imagery and a brilliant albeit strange story, Life of Pi really is one of the greatest plays the West End has seen in a long time and one of the theatre highlights of the year.”

Life of Pi continues to play at the Wyndham’s Theatre . To book tickets click here or visit: Last Minute.comFrom the Box OfficeLove Theatre.com or Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk.