Review Roundup: THE ARTIST Opens at Theatre Royal Plymouth

The Artist is running through Saturday 25 May 2024.

By: May. 24, 2024
Review Roundup: THE ARTIST Opens at Theatre Royal Plymouth
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The world premiere stage production of Michel Hazanavicius’ multi–Academy Award-winning film The Artist is now running at Theatre Royal Plymouth through Saturday 25 May 2024. Multi award-winning international dancer and actor Robbie Fairchild returns to the UK stage for the first time since his leading performance in An American In Paris to play silent movie icon George Valentin, with Gary Wilmot as Al Zimmer, and introducing Briana Craig as Peppy Miller.

The Artist is co-adapted for the stage by Lindsey Ferrentino and Drew McOnie and directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie. The multi award-winning creative team includes set and costume designs by Tony and Olivier Award winner Christopher Oram (Wolf Hall Parts I & II, Red, Disney’s Frozen), music by Tony and Olivier Award winner Simon Hale (Girl From The North Country, Get Up Stand Up!) lighting by Zoe Spurr (Good, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World), sound by Tony and Olivier Award winner Simon Baker (Matilda The Musical, A Christmas Carol), video by Ash J Woodward (The 47th, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), puppetry by Maia Kirkman-Richards (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) and casting by Will Burton. The Associate Director/Choreographer is Ebony Molina and the Musical Director is Chris Poon

See what the critics are saying...

Chris Wiegand, The Guardian: Simon Baker’s sound design is sophisticated and musical director Isaac McCullough keeps things swinging through an interval-free production only slightly longer than the movie. It’s a visual treat, from Oram’s costumes in a palette of black and white to his set deftly suggesting picture palaces, mansions and back lots (lit by Zoe Spurr). McOnie choreographs delightful flights of fancy for the era’s genres, including a swashbuckler film danced with cutlasses. It’s an adaptation brimming with love and respect for the original – rather like the RSC’s My Neighbour Totoro – and tighter focus in the second half could ensure it does, as Variety might say, whammo biz at the box office.

Donald Hutera, The Stage: McOnie’s staging is crisp and economical, and Christopher Oram’s art deco designs are handsome. The cast, including associate director-choreographer Ebony Molina as George’s neglected spouse and Alexander Bean as a loyal chauffeur, strike just the right balance between energetic and sensitive. A four-piece band, led by pianist Isaac McCullough, keeps the whole thing percolating. A pathos-flecked romantic comedy, it’s a jubilant triumph.

Zuzanna Lachendro, The New Statesman: The show’s blend of enchanting choreography and music propels the narrative forward: as if we were watching not only George’s personal development, but the evolution of cinematography. A fitting tribute to the original film, The Artist is a triumphant spectacle.

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