Take a break from screens with these literary greats that inspired West End plays and musicals.
The stage musical adaptation of DreamWorks’ animated epic The Prince Of Egypt comes to The Dominion Theatre in London’s West End for a strictly limited 39-week run.
The biblical musical keeps the film’s original music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz who also wrote additional pieces for the stage adaptation. One of the film’s original screenwriters, Philip LaZebnik, also wrote the book.
Since 2015, The Prince Of Egypt has had productions all over the USA, including New 42nd Street and TheatreWorks in Silicon Valley, as well as one 2018 run in Copenhagen, Denmark. This revised West End production is packed with new costumes, sets, sound design and a world premiere song, making this a truly unique experience for UK musical lovers.
Based on The Book Of Exodus in the Torah, The Prince Of Egypt follows Moses’ story from when his mother Yocheved sent him adrift in a basket on the River Nile to save his life from Pharaoh Seti’s decree that all Hebrew baby boys be slaughtered. Moses is found by Queen Tuya who adopts him and raises him as a prince alongside her own son Ramses.
The princes grow up with all the privileges of royalty, but Ramses feels the weight of the throne he must one day take. When Seti returns from battle with Midianite rebels in the desert, he presents his sons with the captured Tzipporah but she soon escapes. Moses, while chasing her through the slave quarter, discovers his siblings Miriam and Aaron and his true origins.
The next day he witnesses a slave being beaten and, in his attempt to stop it, accidentally kills the overseer meeting out the punishment. In shame, he flees Egypt into the desert where he makes a new life with Tzipporah’s tribe in Midian.
While tending to sheep, Moses discovers the burning bush through which God delivers his mission to free the Hebrews enslaved in Egypt. With this holy task, Moses returns to Egypt to face the man he once called brother to convince him to let his people go.
Luke Brady and Liam Tamne play Moses and Ramses, with Christine Allado playing Moses’ wife Tzipporah.
Miriam and Aaron, his sister and brother, are played by Alexia Khadime and Silas Wyatt-Barke. Moses’ mother, Yocheved, has Mercedesz Csampai fill the huge shoes left by Ofra Haza who took the small yet memorable role in the film.
Pharaoh Seti, Queen Tuya and the High Priest Hotep are played by Joe Dixon, Debbie Kurup and Adam Pearce respectively.
Tanisha Spring is Ramses’ wife Nefertari, and Gary Wilmot is Tzipporah’s father – The High Priest of Midian.
Since opening, audiences have been giving standing ovations during the final bows in response to such a huge and impressive show. The Dominion Theatre is one of the largest in the West End and The Prince Of Egypt is a production that fills such an imposing space. With a huge moving set, a massive ensemble cast, and big voices from the leads, the full majesty of the show will hit everyone in the theatre, including the back row.
Fans of the 1998 film are curious to see how their favourite moments are portrayed live and what has been added. Ten new songs join four of the five original numbers from the film on the stage. Footprints In The Sand comes early in Moses’ character arc where he ruminates on his contentment in being someone that history will forget, opposed to Ramses who will be forever remembered as Pharaoh. This West End production also introduces a brand-new never before heard song, Never In A Million Years, when the love between Moses and Tzipporah starts to blossom. The big third-act number from the film, When You Believe, finds more power from being performed live.
Translating any animated film to the stage comes with obstacles. That goes double for a movie that includes an ethereal burning bush, a dazzling white ancient Egyptian cityscape, and a parting of the Red Sea sequence that took two years to animate. The Prince Of Egypt employs a number of theatrical devices to capture the magic of the film without directly cloning it. Large projections on fringed screens, eye-popping practical effects, and jewel-coloured lighting give the whole performance a painterly feel. The biggest testament (pun intended) to the success of this transition to the stage is the huge ensemble cast. Contorting their bodies every which way, and singing the entire time, they portray the River Nile, shifting desert sands and, ingeniously, two high-speed chariots.
“It’s not just big, it’s epic!” – The Guardian
“You’re unlikely to find a more pitch-perfect cast in the West End.” – WhatsOnStage
“… has the rousing power of ‘Les Miserables’. The music is miraculous.” – Time Out London
The Prince Of Egypt runs for approx. 2 hours and 40 minutes including a 20-minute interval.
The Prince Of Egypt is running until 31 October 2020, book your tickets from Ticketmaster.co.uk.