“Mummy I forgot we were in the theatre” my 5-year old announced at the interval of the multi Olivier award-winning production of Life of Pi in the West End.
Both of us were gripped by this immersive stage adaption of Yann Martel’s award-winning book. The story itself is an incredible portrayal of humanity and our resilience to survive against all odds. It also celebrates nature, questions religion and highlights the power of storytelling in all aspects of our lives.
Pi is trapped on a lifeboat with Richard Parker – a ferocious tiger. Together they have to survive until they reach land or are rescued. This visually stunning production features a versatile set that seamlesly brings the tale to life. The lifeboat is particularly impressive as it pops in and out of the stage and Tim Lutkin’s lighting alongside video from Andrzej Goulding immerse you into the vastness of the ocean. You are at one with the characters, going on the journey with them, every step of the way.
The Life of Pi show received five Olivier Awards in April 2022, including Best New Play, and – in an historic first for the Olivier Awards – the seven performers who played ‘Richard Parker’, the puppet tiger were collectively awarded Best Actor in a Supporting Role. It is easy to see why – as Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell’s puppets become life-like in the hands of the actors as they merge into one with the animal characters. Several times during the show my son asked me ‘is that a real tiger?’
It feels at times like you have wandered into a Dali inspired dream. It is an incredible piece of theatre and you should you all go to see it.
The Life of Pi is on at the Wyndham Theatre and tickets start from £20 more info and bookings here.