The Kneehigh Theatre Company presents a stage adaption of ‘The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’, their latest show following on from the highly acclaimed, ‘Brief Encounter’. This latest show stars Joanna Riding as Madame Emery and cabaret artist Meow Meow. The show has been premiering at the Curve, Leicester from 11th February, and will continue until 26th February 2011, with performances every weekday.
Kneehigh Director, Emma Rice produces her own adaptation of the 1964 French musical film, originally directed by Grammy awarding winning, Jacques Demy, featuring music from Oscar-winning composer Michel Legrand.
The story follows twenty year old French auto-mechanic, Guy Fouchier, (Andrew Durand) who has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery (Carly Bawden), an employee in her widowed mother’s stylish umbrella shop. The production depicts the epic love turmoil this couple faces when Guy has to leave for a two year tour of combat in conflict ridden Algeria. The relationship is further complicated by Geneviève’s mother, who wants her pregnant daughter to wed a wealthy diamond merchant, Roland Cassard, but Geneviève is torn between an extravagant life with the Roland or one of happiness with her true love, Guy.
A prominent character in the production is that of Lola; namely due to her excellent acting skills combined with her exquisite cabaret performances. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival award winner Meow Meow, gave Lola’s character the magnitude it deserved, and added a unique edge to the overall performance.
Equally brilliant performances by other cast members included Joanna Riding, who plays the character of Madame Emery, Geneviève’s widowed mother. Credit is also given to the radiant performances of Cynthia Erivo as Madeleine, Andrew Durand as Guy Foucher and Carly Bawden playing the love struck Geneviève Emery.
Set and costume designer Lez Brotherston and lighting designer Malcolm Rippeth have done a fantastic job of giving the performance an authentic feel of 1950’s and 60’s Cherbourg.
Pukaar News spoke to The Pakistani Centre Chief Executive who also attended the show, Mustafa Malik who said he really enjoyed the show, “it was very well produced and romantic” but he disliked the physical romance displayed on stage, which he described as not ideal for younger audiences. He also advised, “Curve should put ratings on shows”.
Pukaar News also spoke to one lady who liked the production, but said the sexual content was a bit too much, which left her feeling embarrassed. She believed that this level of sexual content could have been avoided in the production.
This latest adaption of the classic film really is a must see for audiences over the age of 16. The audience’s participation is encouraged throughout the show and really makes you feel as though you are in 1950’s Cherbourg!
The performance is showing at Curve Theatre until 26th February. Ticket prices range from £10 – £24. For tickets and further information, please visit www.curveonline.co.uk, or alternatively call the box office on 0116 242 3595.