REVIEW: Big Fish Hooks Audiences

10 November 2017

'Big Fish The Musical pulls on every emotion imaginable, and leaves you feeling exhilarated as a result of the energy, and intensity of the fantastic cast. '

This is hands down, one of the best musicals to open in London this year, and we can only hope that this perfect tale doesn’t end as quickly as it’s scheduled to. - ***** Greg Stewart, Theatre Weekly

Lippa’s songs include the bright and breezy, most notably the WW2 close harmony pastiche Red, White and True which opens Act II. But the greatest musical achievements, of many, here are the song’s big romantic ballads, from Time Stops as Edward and Sandra meet for the first time to Daffodils, as they mark their love with bouquets, and eventually fields, of the blooms. Big Fish’s score, one of the best to emerge from Broadway in the last several years, is complemented with some occasionally astonishing choreography by Liam Steel. A circus sequence with Muscato leaping through hula hoops is a particular highlight, beautifully executed by all concerned. Further complementing the show’s romanticism, Tom Rogers’s set design incorporates projections that genuinely illuminate the storytelling. With comic supporting turns from Masson and Nolan in particular, there is plenty to laugh at within Big Fish. But the overriding emotion is one of heart-wrenching devotion to one’s parents; of the power of mythic fairytales; of finding heroism where one least expects it. With Big Fish, The Other Palace may just have found that perfect combination of commercial success and technically superb work. One would certainly be hard-pressed to find a more emotional, more satisfying work on the London stage right now. ***** Scott Matthewman, The Reviews Hub

Charming, imaginative, realistic, romantic and with unexpected depths, Big Fish hooked me from the start. Andrew Lippa’s songs Fight The Dragons, Daffodils, Red, White And True and the powerful This River Between Us are standouts in a generally terrific score. Grammer is the heart and soul of the production, a kind of big‑hearted, benign version of Big Daddy. Of the cast around him, Jamie Muscato, Laura Baldwin and Forbes Masson make notable contributions. - **** Neil Norman, The Express


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