Stars: ** 1/2
On the imaginary planet Alaylia, the inhabitants live in cold darkness without sun or birdsong and with only the moon and precious balls of manufactured Ember to light their lives.
Young hero Stormy, played with youthful exuberance by Gareth Keegan, embarks on a quest to find a mythical world of light and joy, leaving his childhood sweetheart, Lisa (Gemma-Ashley Kaplan).
It’s is a classic hero’s journey combined with a Romeo and Juliet love story, with universal themes about overcoming adversity, good versus evil and light versus darkness.
Yusuf’s original, timeless melodies and poignant lyrics provide the heart and soul and the glue for the narrative. The problem is that, there are too many songs (41) and many are only fragments that do not advance the story or characters.
The first inspiring and successful meld of song, character and narrative is Sally Bourne, as Stormy’s mother, singing a Wild World as a touching, mournful farewell to her son.
An impressive cast, directed by Anders Albien, choreographed by Yvette Lee and accompanied by Stephen Amos’s orchestrations, revisits the classic tunes including Moonshadow, How Can I Tell You I Love You, and Sad Lisa, which is sung by the warm, resonant-voiced Jolyon James as Moonshadow.
Magic -Doug Tremlett