‘Coming back home’: the musical ‘Amelie’ prepared for the reopening of the London theater

Standing in a makeshift Paris metro station at London’s Criterion Theater, actress Audrey Brisson performs a heartwarming song during a rehearsal for the musical “Amelie”.

It has been over a year since the production took to the stage in London, and as England passes the next stage of the lockdown, the musical, based on the 2001 hit French film, will be one the first to open in the west of the capital. Finish.

“It’s wonderful, it’s heartwarming, it’s exciting, exhilarating. It feels like coming home,” Brisson, who plays the title role, told Reuters.

“I missed the narrative. I missed seeing in the audience’s eyes that oblivion of reality and just being swept away by their feet and their imaginations.”

Like elsewhere in the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has closed theaters in the West End. From Monday, they will be able to welcome audiences again but only at 50% capacity and with protective measures in places.

Director Michael Fentiman has said “Amelie The Musical” could reopen with financial support from the UK Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund as well as being a “nimble” production, where the 16-member cast are also the orchestra.

“We thought it was an imaginative way to… tell their story. However, it also means we’re a bit cheaper than other musicals,” he said.

“We’re a show about coming out of isolation … about the joy of moving from a … isolated and anxious place to one of … connection, joy and empathy … so we are.” .. were supposed to be here when the theater first turns on the lights. “

About a third of London’s theaters will reopen from next week, according to Julian Bird, managing director of the Society of London Theater and the UK Theater. Major productions like “Wicked,” “Hamilton” and “Cinderella” by Andrew Lloyd Webber await the final phase of the lockout in June to raise the curtains of the summer.

“The bigger lounges need more full capacity, their running costs are just too high, they can’t get by with 50 percent of the seats,” Bird said.

Among the shows that will return next week are “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”, “Les Misérables – Le concert mise en scene” and “The Mousetrap”.

“If we just look at central London and the West End… bookings have been remarkably strong,” Bird said. “People really want to go back to the theater.”

Lighting designer Elliott Griggs, who worked as a supermarket delivery man during the lockdown, said it was “amazing to be back”.

“So many people are still waiting for this call to come,” he said. “So I feel very lucky to be here and to come back to do this work.”

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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