Tori Amos and Samuel Adamson's The Light Princess Opens at London's National Theatre Oct. 9
By Mark Shenton
The world premiere of The Light Princess, a new musical with music and lyrics by Tori Amos and book and lyrics by Samuel Adamson, officially opens at the National's Lyttelton Theatre Oct. 9, following previews that began Sept. 25; it will continue running in repertory through early 2014.
Described in press materials as a "dark fairytale about grief, rebellion and the power of love," it is directed by Marianne Elliott, most recently represented in London by Sweet Bird of Youth at the Old Vic and the ongoing West End transfers of the National Theatre's productions of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and War Horse.
The cast comprises Amy Booth-Steel, Stephanie Bron, Vivien Carter, James Charlton, Rosalie Craig (Althea), Hal Fowler, Owain Gwynn, Nicola Hart, Nick Hendrix (Digby), C J Johnson, Luke Johnson, David Langham, Richard Lowe, Tommy Luther, Jamie Muscato, Emma Norin, Malinda Parris, Kane Oliver Parry, Adam Pearce, Caspar Phillipson, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Clive Rowe, Nuno Silva, Phoebe Street, Ben Thompson and Lynne Wilmot.
The production is designed by Rae Smith with lighting by Paule Constable and choreography by Steven Hoggett. The music supervisor is Martin Lowe, with vocal arrangements by Tori Amos and Martin Lowe and arrangements by John Philip Shenale. Animations are by Matthew Robins with puppetry direction by Finn Caldwell, puppetry designs by Toby Olié, aerial designs by Paul Rubin and sound by Simon Baker. The associate choreographer is Neil Bettles.
The show is "set in opposing kingdoms where a princess and a prince who had lost their mothers live. Althea, unable to cry, became light with grief and floated, and so was locked away. Digby became so heavy-hearted that he could never smile, and so was trained as a warrior. One day, he declares war. Althea is forced out of hiding and down to ground but, in defiance of her father, she escapes, only to encounter the solemn prince on contested land. Beside a lake the warring heirs begin a passionate and illicit affair. But for Althea to find real love, she must first confront the world’s darkness and face her own deepest fears."
Amos is a multi Grammy-nominated singer/composer/pianist whose catalogue of 13 albums have sold more than 12 million copies. They include her debut 1992 album "Little Earthquakes," "Under The Pink" in 1994 (with the worldwide hit "Cornflake Girl"); and "Boys For Pele" in 1996 which featured the U.K. chart-topping "Professional Widow." Her latest two recordings have been on the classical label Deutsche Grammophon, for whom her label debut "Night of Hunters" won an Echo Music Award in 2012, and with which she also made history by becoming the first woman simultaneously to have a top 10 album on the U.S. Billboard Charts in the Classical, Alternative and Rock Categories.
Adamson has previously been represented at the National Theater by Southwark Fair, Mrs. Affleck (a new play from Ibsen’s Little Eyolf) and Pillars of the Community (also from Ibsen). Other plays include Breakfast at Tiffany's, from the novel by Truman Capote (Theatre Royal Haymarket); Some Kind of Bliss (Trafalgar Studios); and All About My Mother (from Almodóvar's film of the same name, staged at the Old Vic).
To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7452 3000, or visit nationaltheatre.org.uk.
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