★★★★ | The Prince of Egypt, Dominion Theatre, London
Dreamwork’s animated 1998 film ’The Prince of Egypt‘ comes to life at the Dominion Theatre.
With music and lyrics by veteran composer Stephen Schwarz, and directed by his son Scott Schwartz, ‘The Prince of Egypt’ faithfully follows the film in the telling of two men – Moses (Luke Brady) and Ramses (Liam Tamne) – who were raised as brothers but, in one of the dark secrets of the family, are not actually brothers.
Moses was born a Hebrew, and after an accident where Moses pushes an Egyptian guard off a temple being built by the Hebrew slaves, he runs off and encounters what turns out to be his real sister and the real members of his family – all Hebrews. While his adopted father dies, Ramses takes over as the Pharaoh – King – while at the same time still condemning all Hebrews to a life of slavery, which will now include his brother. With the brothers divided, what will become of their relationship, and of the Hebrews who desperately seek their freedom?
The production values in this show are worth the price of a ticket. From the illuminated pharaohs and hieroglyphics, which are projected on to the sides of and on the stage, to the amazing costumes and sets, ’The Prince of Egypt’ was made for the huge stage that is the Dominion Theatre. And the dancers are all actually superb, morphing from statues to flowing water to wind to sand dunes to the burning bush where God tells Moses that he needs to return to Egypt and guide the Hebrews to freedom.
Yes, we also get to see Moses part the red sea, with videos of waves projected onto the sides of the stage to make it look like the Hebrews are actually walking between the red sea. Disney, just like their other productions in the West End, looks like they spared no expense in this production. Kudos go to Sean Cheesman, choreographer, who has guided the dancers to be practically another character in the show, to the production and set design and costumes (Jon Driscoll, Kevin Depinet and Ann Hould-Ward respectively), and the performances of both Brady and Tamne. Also, the singing voices of Christine Allado, Alexia Khadime and Mercedesz Csampai are just beautiful. While there were a couple of scenes that had us scratching our heads, overall it’s an amazing production and one not to miss.
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Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.