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Your Lie in April: The Musical in Concert | Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Your Lie in April: The Musical in Concert is a poignant exploration of love, loss, and the healing power of music, brought to life by a talented cast and creative team. Directed and choreographed by Nick Winston, with an English adaptation by Rinne B. Groff, the production combines Naoshi Arakawa's beloved manga with lyrics by Carly Robyn Green and Tracy Miller, and music by Frank Wildhorn. Following the success of Death Note: The Musical in Concert, the show makes its European debut at the prestigious Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

 

The heart of the show lies in its romantic and heart-wrenching narrative, which follows the journey of Kōsei Arima (Zheng Xi Yong), a gifted pianist who loses his ability to hear his own music following his mother's death. His world is forever changed when he encounters the spirited violinist Kaori Miyazono (Rumi Sutton), whose passion and verve reignite his love for music. As their relationship blossoms, they navigate the complexities of friendship, love, and artistic expression, while confronting their own inner demons and insecurities.



The four leads are stellar. Zheng and Sutton deliver captivating performances, embodying the complexities of their characters with depth and sincerity. Their on-stage chemistry is captivating and endearing, adding a special charm to their relationship and making it engaging to watch.


Rachel Clare Chan as Tsubaki Sawabe and Dean John-Wilson as Ryota Watari add further layers to the narrative, portraying the nuances of unrequited love and camaraderie within the world of classical music. Chan's depiction of Tsubaki's hidden feelings for Kōsei adds a delicate and heart-breaking nuance to the love triangle, while John-Wilson's portrayal of Ryota brings moments of humour and warmth to the stage.

 

Supported by a committed and fabulous ensemble, the choreography enriches the storytelling through beautiful and effective movement sequences that complement the narrative and lyrics without being distracting. Set design by Justin Williams features a simple yet effective approach, with a screen projecting various scenes ranging from the concert hall to the hospital room and the outdoors under the moonlight. A cherry blossom tree graces the stage alongside a prominently placed piano, serving as the focal point of the set. Simon Sherriff's lighting design, characterised by blends of blue, pink, and orange hues, creates a romantic and dream-like atmosphere, bringing the enchanting world of the musical to life.


 

However, the heartbeat of the production lies in the 12-piece orchestra led by musical director and conductor Chris Poon. The gorgeous score, a blend of pop-ballads and uplifting melodies, serves to underscore and elevate the narrative, immersing audiences in a rich symphony of music and emotion. Additionally, the inclusion of music interludes from iconic composers like Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin adds a classical elegance to the production, enhancing its overall musical richness. Sutton's vocal prowess shines in numbers like 'Perfect' and 'Come Find Me,' while duets with Zheng, particularly 'One Hundred Thousand Million Stars’, are moments of pure magic. Zheng's piano solo in the second act is a breath-taking display of his talent, earning him a well-deserved ovation, and further illuminating his talent as both a performer and a musician.

 

Despite some technical issues with the sound balance during this evening’s performance, Your Lie in April is a moving and enchanting piece of musical heaven that hits all the right notes of the original story. It's always a refreshing change to see non-Western narratives on the West End stage, as they contribute to the diversity of the musical theatre landscape, highlighting the significance of representation and inclusion. At its core, this heartfelt musical is a testament to perseverance and pursuing one's passions, reminding us to fight for what we love and never give up on our dreams.

 

Your Lie in April plays at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane until 9 April. For information and tickets, follow the link here.


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AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Mark Senior

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