Tori Amos’s musical, The Light Princess, has taken five years to make, now arriving at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton stage. This is quite a personal project for Amos, who has written the music and lyrics, with playwright Samuel Adamson (Pillars of the Community, Breakfast at Tiffany’s) contributing the book. At the heart of The Light Princess is the subject of female sexual awakening.
Broadly adapted from George MacDonald’s 19th-century fairy tale, The Light Princess tells the story of Althea, a princess who has been cursed and who becomes light with grief and has to be locked up to stop her floating away. Only when she has mastered the art of crying can gravity ground her and she can marry the prince who has fallen in love with her.
Although influenced by MacDonald’s story, Amos insists, “We had no desire to set it before the birth of women’s rights. We wanted a teenage lead who could resonate with 21st-century teens and their parents.”
You will have to see the show and witness how Althea will float around the stage, although you may well not get to know how! As with War Horse, the show will feature animation, puppetry and aerial effects. With a live orchestra the show won’t have “show-stopping numbers”. Song, dialogue and movement are integrated. “Sam and I made a choice to keep a dramatic through-line through the song, so we don’t stop a show to just bask in emotion.”
Amos has sold over 12 million albums and been Grammy-nominated eight times. Her solo album Little Earthquakes, a set of piano-based songs, was released in 1992. Her subsequent albums include Under the Pink, Boys for Pele and the covers set, Strange Little Girls. This is her first musical.
Synopsis: The Light Princess brings together iconic singer songwriter Tori Amos with playwriter Samuel Adamson and director Marianne Elliot (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, War Horse) in this spectacular coming of age story. A dark fairytale about grief, rebellion and the power of love.
Once, in opposing Kingdoms lived a princess and a prince who had lost their mothers. Althea, unable to cry, became light with grief and floated and so was locked away. Digby became so heavy hearted that he could never smile and so was trained as a warrior.
One day, he declares war. Althea is forced out of hiding and down to ground but in defiance of her father, she escapes only to encounter the solemn prince on contested land. Beside a lake the warring heirs begin a passionate and illicit affair. But for Althea to find real love, she must first comfront the world’s darkness and face her own deepest fears.
Cast: Rosalie Craig (Althea), Nick Hendrix (Digby), Clive Rowe, Hal Fowler, Amy Booth-Steel, Stephanie Bron, Vivien Carter, James Charlton, Owain Gwynn, Nicola Hart, C J Johnson, Luke Johnson, David Langham, Richard Lowe, Tommy Luther, Jamie Muscato, Emma Norin, Malinda Parris, Kane Oliver Parry, Adam Pearce, Caspar Phillipson, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Nuno Silva, Phoebe Street, Ben Thompson, Lynne Wilmot.
The Light Princess
A new musical with music and lyrics by Tori Amos, book and lyrics by Samuel Adamson.
Directed by Marianne Elliott (Curious Incident, War Horse)
Evenings: Monday to Saturday 7.30pm
Matinees: Thursday and Saturday 2.15pm, Sunday 2.30pm
Age Restrictions: Suitable for 13 years +
Booking From: 25th September 2013
Booking Until: 2nd January 2014
Lyttelton Theatre, National
South Bank, London, SE1 9PX
Sunday 15th September 2013