The Time Traveller's Wife
Venue: Apollo Theatre, London
Cast: David Hunter, Joanna Woodward, Tim Mahendran, Hiba Elchikhe, Ross Dawes, Sorelle Marsh, Alwyne Taylor, Irfan Damani, Alexandra Doar, Alex Lodge and Helena Pipe

Clare and Henry’s love story isn’t exactly like everyone else’s. They meet, fall in love, and get married, but it isn’t in that order. Henry has a paranormal genetic disorder that causes him to randomly time travel at any moment. Falling in love with his soulmate, Clare, proves a challenge when he lives in the past, present, and future at the same time. Can they stand the test of time?

I'll preface this by saying I'm unfamiliar with both the book and the film, so I went in with little knowledge of the story or production, other than the clues the title itself gave away. The Time Traveller's Wife is based on the bestselling book of the same name by Audrey Niffenegger, released in 2003.

The story follows our protagonists Henry and Clare as they discover they're each other's soulmates...but not in a "chronologically correct" way. It's a story of (quite literally) dizzying romance as Henry manages to seek the love of his life, Clare, in every tense: past, present and future. The story fluctuates between time periods throughout, which you'd think may be jarring, but is expertly done by the cast and the staging.

While I liked the premise of the story, I feel as though it could have been fleshed out more. The times it did delve into the juicier depths of plot, such as Henry's dad's trouble with alcohol, it was quickly swept away and replaced with the all-encompassing romance between Clare and Henry. This was quite frustrating, as I would have liked a more in-depth look at other characters.

With music by Joss Stone and Dave Stewart, the music is very much pop oriented, with a dabble of pop rock. However, it does work within the show as it's such a contemporary story and romance. While the music is great, I didn't find many of the songs either catchy or memorable, but they were stunning to see performed.

Act one set a slow pace, but act two returned with a bang, and my favourite scene (and song) from the evening. "Journeyman", sung by David Hunter, was breath-taking to watch. The audience watch as Henry is blasted through time, accompanied with jaw dropping projection work from Andrzej Goulding. Reminiscent of an Evanescence's music video, rather than a piece of musical theatre; simply stunning.

While Hunter and Woodward have phenomenal voices, I particularly liked Gomez and Charisse, played by Tim Mahendran and Hiba Elchikhe. The couple were there for comedic value, and they provided it in bucketloads. Their song "A Woman's Intuition" was wickedly funny.

The set design by Anna Fleischle is exceptional, and the staging and set design is definitely the pinnacle of the production. I almost feel as though the production would have worked better as a play rather than a musical, mostly as not to distract from everything that's happening on stage.

While it did make for a great night at the theatre, it was a very much on-the-surface love story, with little else to it's name. However, I'd recommend a visit just for the visuals and the wonderful cast that are bursting with talent.

You can book tickets to The Time Traveller's Wife at the Apollo Theatre, here.

**photo credit to Johan Perrson**

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