Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s vibrant and captivating fairytale is set on the impoverished island of Haiti where, to this day, the French-speaking minority control half the country’s wealth. Told as a folk-fable to comfort a youngster as a tropical storm ravishes the island this strong ensemble piece brings together a talented cast led by Whatsonstage award-winner Sharon D Clarke (We Will Rock You, The Lion King, Rent).
The Gods watch from afar as Ti fulfils her childhood destiny, nursing Daniel back to health. She gate-crashes his luxury hotel where he takes her enthusiastically to his bed and they begin an intense and passionate relationship. But will love be enough to give the girl the happy ending she desires.
Shyko Amos makes a winning Ti whose earthy and sensual dancing would tempt old Papa Doc himself, while Yaa’s Andrea Deveraux, Wayne Perrey’s Daniel and Lorna Brown’s Goddess of Love all excel in a first-rate cast. Vocally strong throughout it is the second half that provides the best of the numbers with Mama Will Provide, Some Girls and The Human Heart the pick of the bunch.
Superficially a winning and toothsome one-dimensional depiction of happy peasantry singing their way through a harsh life against a colourful Caribbean backdrop the show is not without its darker moments, as the savagery of Haiti’s social divide between the haves and the have-nots make the conclusion of the love story inevitable. But at its heart this is a feel-good and uplifting show which, at under two hours running time, including the interval, makes this strong on family appeal for younger theatre goers.
- Nick Brunger