Composer George Stiles and lyricist Anthony Drewe have had an enormous hit with their stage model of Mary Poppins. Their newest household musical, Equivalent, is much less agency on its ft however, thanks partially to the effective performances of its younger stars, this story of similar twins separated at delivery has the makings of a “must-see phenomenon” even so, mentioned Dominic Cavendish in The Day by day Telegraph. From a script by Stuart Paterson that “intently honours” its supply – Erich Kästner’s 1949 novel Das doppelte Lottchen – it rises to a climax of real “theatrical surprise” on this manufacturing, produced by Kenny Wax and directed by former RSC supremo Trevor Nunn.
For Disney’s display variations of Kästner’s ebook – 1961’s The Father or mother Entice and its 1998 remake – the motion was relocated to the US and England. Right here, it returns to its unique Mitteleuropean setting. Having lived aside with divorced dad and mom in Munich and Vienna, its ten-year-old heroines uncover each other’s existence once they meet by probability at a summer season camp in Bavaria. The set-up is a bit plodding, making for an overlong first half. However after they resolve to swap locations so that every can meet the dad or mum she by no means knew, issues take off, mentioned Nick Ahad in The Guardian. Nunn brings out “each the farce and the fragility” on this advanced household scenario, mentioned Georgina Brown within the Day by day Mail. The sliding units and video work lend the motion a “movie-like” fluidity. And the appearing is nice, with three units of twins taking part in the women in rotation (Kyla and Nicole Fox have been very good on the primary evening).
Sadly, the magic by no means occurred for me, mentioned Clive Davis in The Instances. I felt the women have been let down by “limp” dialogue and “surprisingly slack” route, and the present’s visible brilliance solely served to spotlight the “cardboard high quality” of the storytelling. It’s “gooey” and undeniably far-fetched, mentioned Quentin Letts in The Sunday Instances, however such is “the alchemy of the stage musical” that I discovered myself blubbing. You might not heat to its “commercially savvy sentimentality”, but when it extends after Nottingham and Salford it is going to, no less than, assist “treatment the nationwide drought”.
Nottingham Playhouse (to 14 August) and The Lowry, Salford (19 August to three September); identicalmusical.co.uk