Notre Dame de Paris | Review
A tale of a handsome prince charming and happy endings it was not. Notre Dame de Paris is a musical spectacular that has captured the hearts of many around the world with its tragic love story of Quasimodo, the hunchback Notre Dame Cathedral bell ringer, and Esmeralda the gypsy girl. The audience was brought along Quasimodo’s painful journey of love for a woman who had many lusting after her. Premiering in Singapore on 17 December 2013 at Mastercard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands, Notre Dame de Paris (English lyrics written by Will Jennings) was everything I expected and more. If you thought your experience with unrequited love was bad, Quasimodo had it worse.
The magnificent set transported us into 15th century Paris, specifically the Notre Dame cathedral. The 12 metre high ‘climbing wall’ made for an amazing platform in which the acrobats fearlessly hung from, moving to the music. That wasn’t the only thing they were hanging from; from big bells swinging in the air to Quasimodo perched atop a suspended platform, Notre Dame de Paris showcased director Gilles Maheu and choreographer Martino Muller’s prowess. Dancers flew across the stage, broke into breakdances and gracefully arched their bodies, many times in precarious positions – with no harnesses!
And it goes without saying, the musical was made perfect with the flawless vocals of the cast! The beautiful harmonizing among the cast as well as the strong connection between the characters that they played showed through, sucking us into the emotionally charged storyline. However, as there was no dialogue, we did get a little confused as to who the characters were in the beginning. If you didn’t have a vague knowledge of the story before the show, be prepared to listen hard to the lyrics lest you be lost in the storyline.
The musical ended off with poet Gringoire singing the French version of the opening song, giving us a taste of the original phenomenon that has been charming everyone since its debut in Paris, France in 1998, right up to this very day in Singapore. It is truly a spectacle not to be missed!
Notre Dame de Paris will be in theatres until 11 January 2014. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.sistic.com.sg/
Text by: Arynah Aminuddin
Images courtesy of NDP Project and Base Entertainment Asia
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