Welcome to Amélie!

If you’ve seen the film version of Amélie, chances are it has stayed with you. There’s something about it – a charm, a quirkiness, an endearing quality and an aesthetic beauty to the whole thing that satisfies and remains. The story is simple enough. In some ways the plot is a bit abstract and meandering, but essentially the story is about a unique young woman who decides that the best way to make sense of the world is to try and do good things for others. In turn, the world responds and Amélie discovers her own strength, her own sense of self and her own ability to love and be loved.

The musical version is even more enchanting. The songs allow Amélie’s imagination to come alive for an audience, they are infused with playful folksy patterns and whimsical melodies. There is nostalgia, longing, anxiety even – as well as warmth and wit. It feels to me as though this should always have been a musical and the story sits neatly on the comforting bed of such an enchanting score.

I knew this would be a good choice for Downe House. Yes, Amélie is central and vital as a role, but there is a huge array of colourful characters, and essentially Amélie’s world is one big community. It requires an ensemble effort to bring that world to life and to show the beauty and richness of humanity in all its complicated splendour. I was also keen to have live instrumentalists on stage – no easy feat! But the students have worked so hard to bring this story to life, whether as actors, musicians, dancers, singers or most often a combination of all these things.

I am hugely grateful to the team that has helped bring this show to life, from technical support, choreography, costume design… the list goes on. We are very lucky to have such a solid team of dedicated and creative professionals working at the School. And the students’ energy, good-humour and generosity of spirit have made this a joyous experience. I hope you come out feeling cosy and hopeful about the world.

Enjoy the show!

Mr Rob Castell
Head of Enrichment and Extra Curricular Drama

 

 

Synopsis

Amélie Poulain is a quirky but complicated young woman. Home-schooled and shielded from the world, she struggles with how to connect with what is real… and often indulges in her imagination instead. The spark of joy brought on by a sudden burst of altruism offers a new way into the world, and the intriguing presence of another lost soul – Nino Quincampoix – means that Amélie may yet find a path to a life of meaning and real happiness.

Rehearsal Photographs

Thanks

Our thanks go to Chris Gould, Matt Godfrey, Alex Tostdevine, Susan Norman and Natalie Bloor.

 

The videotaping or making of electronic or other audio and/or visual recordings or streams of this production is strictly prohibited, a violation of United Kingdom Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and an actionable offense.

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