Review by Molly Davidson
Audrey Niffenegger’s book, The Time Traveller’s Wife, has always been one of my favourites.
It was the first time I fell in love with a story – with the characters, the format, the emotions.
God, the way I SOBBED at the end, reading the last few pages…
So, when I saw it was coming to Storyhouse as a musical, I was… hesitant. I’m not the
biggest musical fan, and I was sat wondering why on earth they chose THIS story to
“musikify”. But five minutes into the performance, it all made sense. I was dumbfounded as to
why it hadn’t been done before.
Music is at the very core of who Henry is – it’s at the core of his parents’ love and his
revisited grief throughout the story as he time travels back to the crash or to see his mother.
Author of the book for the stage, Laura Gunderson, says herself that ‘songs don’t just
decorate the story, they complete it’ – and she couldn’t be more correct. And with the
talented Dave Stewart and Joss Stone stepping in to create a masterpiece of a soundtrack
for this play, each song was nothing short of brilliant. My favourites include Henry’s very rock
and roll Journey Man solo (with THE BEST visuals and illusions I’ve ever seen on stage),
Gomez’s I Know This Kinda Guy (which, by the way – what a voice, Tim!), and the extremely
emotional I’ve Seen Her between Henry and his father.
But this wasn’t just a feast for the ears – the visuals of this performance really caught me off
guard. The illusions – courtesy of Chris Fisher – in this play are fantastic. I sat, mouth agape,
in total awe of the performance and feeling extremely privileged to be able to experience it.
The thing I was most worried about was the end of the play. Would they stay true to the
novel? To the very part of a book that made me feel so much emotion? I was happy to read
that visionary director, Bill, said ‘[…] the way Audrey Niffenegger ends the story is
remarkable and incredibly moving – and we’re absolutely staying true to the novel in terms of
that piece of storytelling.’ And thank God, they did. The end was beautiful. And just like
reading the book – I was balling my eyes out.
I’m so delighted that they chose Chester’s Storyhouse to premier this incredibly
heart wrenching performance of one of my all-time favourite books. The whole team have an
extensive and impressive repertoire of skills, experience, and undeniable talent – and you
can definitely see this from the performance.
Well done, everyone. We wish you the very best on the West End.