Based upon the novel by Charles Kingsley comes a new Curve production; Water Babies.
The never before seen musical follows hero, Tom (Thomas Milner) who when framed for a crime he did not commit is faced with a choice, to jump off a waterfall or face his fate in front of a jury. Tom opts for the former in which he encounters a new world of danger, enchantment and adventure.
Where the first half of act one may not be as magical as the rest of the performance, as soon as Tom begins his underwater adventurer the pace of the show quickens, introducing a very talented cast and a unique production.
Directed by Ed Curtis the musical as a whole combines traditional theatrical techniques as well as projections and underwater effects to capture a world which has never been seen on stage before. This magical underwater world comes across in the innovative set design by Morgan Large which changes and grows as the musical progresses.
Thomas Milner gives a great performance of a boy who is struggling to find his path yet, driven by love to get back to land for his lover Ellie (Lauren Samuels). They’re duet in act one The Last Page is one of the shows leading songs with lyrics by Guy Jones and Chris Egan. The song sets the scene for the musical as a whole as well as capturing the relationship between Tom and Ellie. Other leading characters include Emmerdale star Tom Lister who plays Grime and Eeel, the baddies of the show, with West-End star Louise Dearman playing the good fair Mrs D. Louise Dearman’s character acts as the musical narrator throughout the production, providing a voice of reason and guidance for Tom as well as some powerful solos and duets. Perhaps one of the well-known songs from the production is Waiting for You, sung by Louise Dearmen and Lauren Samuels which captures the overall feel of the musical, a song I have had in my head days later.
As well as the leading characters perhaps one of the highlights of the production are the scenes featuring the trio; Jock the lobster (Andy Gray), Terrence the Seahorse (Samuel Holmes) and Claude the Swordfish (Tom Davey). The three characters first appear on stage in flamboyant costumes and riding bikes to give the impression that they are in fact underwater animals. The trio provide a refreshing and innovative role within the musical, breaking up the at times confusing plot line. The witty script and fishy one liners adds for light-hearted comedic effect.
As a whole the production is an enchanting fairy-tale story and whilst it explores the life of one boy finding his way, it’s captivating and relatable to the whole audience. I hope that the production will transfer to the west-end for its full potential to be released. Overall the Curve production was a fantastic, comical and fairy-tale adventure, with a fabulous cast.
The production runs until the 17th May and is the perfect treat for yourself and friends after finishing final assignments and exams. For more information and tickets click here.
Watch Thomas Miler performing Catch Me from the musical below.