The Sorcerer's Apprentice ★★★★ Southwark Playhouse (online) | Until March 14, 2021


"There's magic in the air" as Goethe's fable of The Sorcerer's Apprentice gets a contemporary reading in this clever new musical from the team of Richard Hough and Ben Morales Frost. The story deals with the rocky relationship between the sorcerer and his rebellious daughter while also treating the darker issue of our current climate crisis. Can magic and science work together to defeat human greed, or will all be swept away by the forces of a natural world that humans have abused? Despite the big issues being dealt with here, the story remains charming and simple. Kudos to Mary Moore who, in her first major role, brings an engaging joy and rebelliousness to her character, Eva Gottel. Moore has a lovely voice and she creates a credible teenager, both cocky and needy. She is ably supported by a generally strong cast. David Thaxton is suitably serious and sympathetic as her sorcerer father and Dawn Hope is terrific as Lamia Lydekker, the evil factory owner. However, it is Marc Pickering as Fabian Lydekker who steals the show. His delightfully over-the-top performance captures the spirit of a fairy tale and completely engages the audience at the same time as we are considering some darkly serious subject matter. In songs like "Let There Be Light" Pickering's energy and broad humour bring life to what could have been a rather dry allegory. This is a theatrical performance that has been recorded and it is a wonderful reminder of why all of us are longing to get back to magic!

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Geraint Lewis.

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