Wyndham’s Theatre, London
I’ve also had some really wonderful nights in the theatre that I wouldn’t have missed for the world. These included the long-delayed West End transfer of Life of Pi from Sheffield’s Crucible, where it originally premiered two and half years ago.
Max Webster’s production — with Lolita Chakrabarti providing the stage adaptation to Yann Martel’s Man Booker prize-winning novel — is a theatrical wonder, in every sense.
This is a show of deep theatricality, like a cross between The Lion King and War Horse on steroids in bringing a whole zooful of animals to life through Finn Caldwell and Nick Barnes’ puppets, gloriously complemented by Tim Hatley’s sets and Andrzej Goulding’s video and projections, that make it seem both realistic and tangible.
Though the lead critics for both The Guardian and The Times — both new in their posts since the show was originally reviewed by others in Sheffield — found themselves underwhelmed compared to their predecessors, I wonder if that was a matter of expectation.
I found it an evening of sheer enchantment, and just wonderful, heartwarming storytelling about human survival.
‘Heartwarming storytelling about human survival’: @ShentonStage is enchanted by @LifeOfPiWestEnd, finally transferred from Sheffield @crucibletheatre to @DMTWestEnd’s Wyndham’s Theatre. #LifeOfPi #LifeOfPiWestEnd #theatrereviews