The Prince of Egypt: Theatre Review

Prince of Egypt Musical London

If you are a fan of DreamWorks’ epic 1998 animation The Prince of Egypt, then you may want to check out the new stage adaptation which has just opened at London’s Dominion Theatre.

In case you are unfamiliar with the film, The Prince of Egypt basically tells the story of Moses, beginning from when he is sent down the river as a baby and adopted into Pharoah Seti’s family to when he parts the Red Sea to help the Hebrews escape Egypt, with a few time jumps in between. In the stage musical, Moses is played by Luke Brady, while there’s Liam Tamne as his adopted brother Rameses, Christine Allado as his love interest Tzipporah, and Alexia Khadime as his biological sister Miriam.

I had no idea how this would be staged because the animation is set in such a grand, extravagant – and mostly exterior – landscape, but the production team have pulled it off by keeping it simple. The main action takes place on a small stage shaped like a country outline (presumably Egypt) in front of a large screen which forms the backdrop. Certain pieces of set dressing and props are brought out for the scene and these are mostly comprised of multipurpose blocks. The squad of dancers use their bodies and movement to convey fire and water (and more) and I enjoyed this physical theatre aspect of the show. I had no idea how the parting of the sea would be done and I don’t want to spoil it, but let’s just say, it looks very cool.

I have to heap more praise on the dancers because they were my favourite thing about the show. The choreography was amazing. The dancers were so damn flexible and some of their moves were so impressive my jaw dropped. The dance sequences are where the show really excels and comes to life.

And now the negatives. It’s too long. The film is about 100 minutes and this is about two hours 40 minutes (with an interval), which goes to show how much has been added to it. There are way more songs and most of them didn’t make an impact. The best songs were the original film ones and the new additions felt like filler – unmemorable tracks to bulk up the runtime. I would have been happier with a shorter and snappier show. I can appreciate that they wanted to do something a little different but stick to the material!

Also, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the acting of the lead men, who carry the bulk of the story. My favourites were the women – Khadime and Allado had beautiful voices and do an excellent job with the standout song When You Believe, and Allado was also a fantastic dancer.

The Prince of Egypt is epic and ambitious, with impressive staging and incredible choreography, but I felt let down by the runtime and the number of filler songs.

If it sounds up your street, you can buy your tickets here.

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