Inside The UK Launch of THE PRINCE OF EGYPT
'There can be miracles, when you believe'...
This is the overarching message in the Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel in London - the location of the launch of the new Dreamworks musical, The Prince of Egypt. Together, members of the press and industry sit and experience the epic emotional and thrilling music of Stephen Schwartz, told through the impactful words of Philip LaZebnik, and performed by the 32-strong company.
The story may be a familiar one: two young men are raised together as brothers in an Ancient Egyptian kingdom, before discovering that their past couldn't be more different. Ramses must take his rightful place as Pharoah, whereas Moses must fulfil his duty of freeing his people. From then on their destinies are changed forever. The extraordinary film that we all know and love will arrive in the West End in musical form in February 2020.
As well as the songs we've heard before, the show features 10 new songs written by Schwartz. The internationally renowned composer is the recipient of three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award. You're probably familiar with his work; the musicals Pippin and Wicked, and the popular Disney films Enchanted, Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame are all products of his talents.
Schwartz himself introduces part of the show, before performing one of the new songs himself. It feels like a right treat to see such an icon perform in this intimate way. Accompanying him in this moment is one of the leads of the musical, Luke Brady who plays Moses. Their voices soar through the space, coalescing together to create a gorgeous sound.
Brady is equally fantastic when debuting a new duet with Liam Tamne, who plays Ramses. Watching these two perform makes you very excited to see them next year. They seem like the perfect pairing to lead the show. Gary Wilmot is smooth during his performance of one of the film favourites, "Through Heaven's Eyes". And Tanisha Spring kicks off the event with the most gorgeous of vocals during part of "Deliver Us".
However, it is Alexia Khadime and Christine Allado who are the real stars of the morning. Performing what may be the most well-known song from the show, "When You Believe", they belt out the biggest, most beautiful ballad. It's clear that we are in the presence of some of the finest musical theatre talent. Both women have so much control and power in the voices - their delivery leaves you with goosebumps.
All in all, it's a pretty special morning. The pack given upon exit reveals the first scenic design illustration by Kevin Depinet. It's visually quite breathtaking; the construction-like set reveals a 3D masterpiece featuring lots of levels, projection and places for exciting action. This is going to be a really exciting thing to hit the stage.
Opening 5 February 2020, The Prince of Egypt looks like it has all that it takes to become one of the most-loved musicals of all times.