A delicious, Liverpudlian performance … Joanna Riding, centre, as Angélique’s controlling mother. Emma Rice is an old-fashioned romantic – no doubt about it. For a musical that advocates risk and taste, it is surprising bland. There is also an exquisite Frenchified, tongue-in-cheek design by Lez Brotherston that brings neon lights to the Sam Wanamaker and neatly plays up the space’s chocolate-box aesthetic. Theatre, Musicals. Rice’s latest project “Romantics Anonymous,” entwines those two elements with soaring success. Time Out says. Kooman score and Dimond’s lyrics soar to emotional heights, with Joanna Riding’s floor manager belting out her boss’s secret: “He’s in love! It sends a signal that Rice, unbowed by her Globe experience, is ready to take a leap in the dark with her new company, Wise Children at the Old Vic, and soar. Variety and the Flying V logos are trademarks of Variety Media, LLC. Photo: Tristram Kenton. 4 out of 5 stars. Rice proved in the giddy Brief Encounter (2008), where the lovers really did swing from the chandeliers, that nobody presents sexual desire and the transformative joy of love on stage quite as well or with such febrile intensity. Posted September 11, 2020 13:25 by Rachel Wise. Musically, their piano and clarinet orchestrations (with glockenspiels for good measure) catch the continental tone of Améris’ original, combining lush romance with light whimsy, as does Lez Brotherston’s  design of candyish costumes and bright neon signs. You will be redirected back to your article in. One sits entirely tucked into her clothing: knees in her jumper, hands up her sleeves. Based on the French film of the same name (Les Émotifs Anonymes), Romantics Anonymous … The performances are lovely, the production by Emma Rice's Wise Children is characteristically imaginative, but the show itself is anodyne. Bawden clamps her lips shut as Angelique, while Marsh’s Jean-Rene is permanently tongue-tied. Review: Romantics Anonymous at Bristol Old Vic Theatre In Theatre , What's On It’s a tad early in the year to be saying this, but, if you’re only going to see one play in 2020 you might want to consider making it Romantics Anonymous, a delicious confection from Wise Children and Plush Theatricals, playing at Bristol Old Vic ahead of a major international tour. In finding each other, bit by bit, they prove the solutions to both of their problems. They fall in love. Make sure you catch Dad’s jaunty interval song performed in the foyer, a musical poke at the misconceived wisdom of avoiding risk in the theatre and sticking with what you know: “If you don’t do anything, nothing can go wrong.”. by Maya Bowles As ever, Rice counterbalances that with clowning. But the production is also restrained, and is as unassuming and engaging as its two protagonists. Music does what words cannot. With Benoît Poelvoorde, Isabelle Carré, Lorella Cravotta, Lise Lamétrie. Film, Theatre & Music Musings. With its roots deep in the very heart of British Theatre, you can feel the history in the air. Funny, tender and painfully awkward, Romantics Anonymous is a delicious love story about breaking the mould and finding the courage to be happy. In less confident or sensitive hands this might be as cloying as an overscented violet cream, and it is definitely sweet-toothed. This is what makes Améris’ film into a musical. Oscars Predictions: Best Picture – Is ‘Sound of Metal’ Peaking at the Perfect Time? Recommended. Angelique’s too shy to take credit for her talent, while Jean-René’s anxious inactivity is ruining his business. When she brought “Brief Encounter” to Broadway back in 2010, the whole stage seemed to swoon, as lovers were knocked sideways and swept off their feet. Reviews; Contact; Advertisements. This new musical, based on the 2010 Franco-Belgian film Les Romantics Anonymous, theatre review: Romantic whimsy makes for a sugary sweet affair | London Evening Standard ES_Masthead CreativeDirected by Emma Rice, Set design, Lez Brotherston; musical supervision, Nigel Lilley; choreographer, Etta Murfitt; orchestrator, Simon Hale; lighing, Malcolm Rippeth; sound, Simon Baker. When the Lyon Chocolate Fair judge, Loizeau (Marc Antolin), a man whose medals are made from spoons and forks, proclaims with Bruno Tonioli-style hyperbole that Angélique’s entry is “so shy it becomes bold, so fragile it becomes strong”, he could well be describing Rice’s production. Joining the previously announced returning cast members Marc Antolin (Jean-René) and Carly Bawden (Angélique) are Brett Brown (Salesman/Fred), Me’sha Bryan (Suzanne/Mimi), Harry Hepple (Ludo/Remi), Laura Jane Matthewson … a multifaceted gem, chock-full of love, generosity and joy, and it fits the space like a glove. hen relationships fail because the parties concerned want different things, the breakup can be acrimonious and ill-tempered. Romantics Anonymous closed on 06 January 2018. Photo: Tristram Kenton. Stage Chat / Regional / Romantics Anonymous musical cast announced for streamed online production . With the company Kneehigh, she turned “Tristan and Yseult” into a tale of two people pulled together like planets. Reviews Oct 30, 2017 Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London Carly Bawden and Dominic Marsh in Romantics Anonymous at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London. • At Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London, until 6 January. Romantics Anonymous at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Angélique’s bold, brassy mother – a delicious Liverpudlian-soaked performance by Joanna Riding – is the antithesis of her retiring child, crushing her not only with flamboyant behaviour but also with words: “You don’t get to be more complex, more damaged, more special than the rest of us,” she yells at her daughter. Like a latter-day Hamlet, Jean-René is in thrall to the ghost of his dead father (Philip Cox) who believes staunchly in tradition and – perhaps like the Globe board – refuses to countenance change or risk-taking, even when the chocolate factory faces disaster. A study of shyness, Romantics Anonymous examines the inability to speak up. Read Next: From Off Broadway to Marvel Superhero: Teyonah Parris on Her Journey to ‘WandaVision’, London Theater Review: ‘A Very Expensive Poison’, West End Review: ‘The Night of the Iguana’ With Clive Owen, Kellyanne Conway Accused of Posting Topless Photo of Her 16-Year-Old Daughter on Twitter, Lindsay Lohan Asks TikTok User to Take Down Viral Cameo (EXCLUSIVE), Hollywood Elite in COVID-19 Vaccine Scramble: 'It's the Hunger Games Out There', Carey Mulligan Responds to Variety's Apology for ‘Promising Young Woman’ Review, ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Release Date Moves Back a Week, WarnerMedia Sets New Zealand’s 'There is No I in Threesome' as HBO Max Original. Review: ‘Romantics Anonymous,’ streamed live from U.K., is sweetly predictable — best for those who miss musicals “Hello,” each whisper by way of introduction, “Je suis emotif.”. Running time: 2 HOURS, 20 MIN. Intimidating French waiters are sent up mercilessly, too. 4 out of 5 stars. But Emma Rice’s parting gift to the Globe – the. (And, believe me, when it comes to that damn “Loveland” sequence, I’m still trying to....) A little further down the Southbank there’s now a lovely, intimate, humanly-scaled alternative. ‘So shy it becomes bold’ … Marc Antolin as culinary judge Ludo. In “Brief Encounter,” the station staff remained earthbound and unmoved, while “Tristan and Yseult” were watched by a chorus of The Unloved, a flock of bespectacled, anorak-wearing oddballs – trainspotters of the heart. But like the small nuggets of confectionary at the heart of the show, the taste of the production's sweet-natured whimsy … A musical adaptation of Jean-Pierre Améris’ piquant French-Belgian rom-com “Les Emotifs Anonymes” (2010), the show is a grand romance between the unlikeliest of lovers, two sweethearts wracked by social anxiety. It’s all the more bittersweet, because witty stagecraft combined with an ability to tug at the heartstrings is a reminder of what a great and distinctive talent the Globe is losing with Rice’s premature departure. It seems like longer than two and a bit years since Emma Rice first unveiled Romantics Anonymous. ProductionA Radio Mouse Entertainment production of a musical in two acts with book by Emma Rice, music by Michael Kooman and lyrics by Christopher Dimond and based on a film by Jean-Pierre Améris and Philippe Blasband. But I was disappointed by this production of Romantics Anonymous, streamed from Bristol Old Vic in a virtual form to support theatres around the country, many of which it planned to visit live. As they get closer, we pretty much melt. It charts the tricky relationship between reclusive chocolate-maker Angélique (Carly Bawden) and chocolate factory owner Jean-René (Dominic Marsh). It received three nominations at the 2nd Magritte Awards, winning Best Foreign Film in Coproduction. But Emma Rice’s parting gift to the Globe – the South Bank theatre she is leaving after just two seasons because of differences with the board – is no brickbat, but a bouquet. First of all, it’s always fun to go to the Shakespeare’s Globe. Another, a crisscross of knitwear with plastered-up specs, taps away on his laptop avoiding eye contact. Romantics Anonymous is an unusual and tender love story in which the obstacles to happiness are not the usual external barriers, but those sneaky little ones we know all too intimately: the ones within. This is a real heartburst of a show. Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, LondonRice caps her brief Globe tenure with this endearing musical about a pair of shy chocolate makers – and shows she’s not done taking risks, Last modified on Thu 26 Mar 2020 08.33 EDT. It’s bitterness, says Angélique, that elevates chocolate above other sweets and fancies. The scenes at the Alcoholics Anonymous-style meetings where everyone begins by announcing “Je suis emotif” are funny and heartbreakingly sad. ‘A gentle, joyous, melt-in-the-mouth show’ To get the latest news, reviews, interviews, new show alerts and ticket offers, sign up to our weekly newsletter Email * He’s in love!” A string of characterful cameos from Marc Antolin and Natasha Jayetileke offset the flush of feeling, but there’s no denying that this one’s a real treat. Friday, 27 October 2017. A third is a bobble-hatted, mitten-wearing mumbler. Bristol Old Vic – until 1 February 2020. As Bawden and Marsh go through a string of near-misses, you find yourself urging the hapless lovers together. We're working hard … Not for nothing does Gareth Snook’s mumbler steal scene after scene. To both stories though, Rice added the opposite: those left behind by love. The impeccable production and talented cast are a … The small chamber musical based on a French film of the same name follows a pair of chocolatiers, Angélique and Jean-Pierre, who fall in love despite their anxiety-wracked personalities. Romantics Anonymous (French: Les Émotifs anonymes) is a 2010 French-Belgian romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Améris and starring Benoît Poelvoorde and Isabelle Carré. Emma Rice bows out at Shakespeare's Globe with a heart-tugger of a new musical about timid lovers. But with a book and direction by Rice, the ever-playful, tongue-in-cheek style just about sets. BWW Review: ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS, Bristol Old Vic. The Wild Bride (2011) featured a dad who sold his daughter to the devil and maimed her in more than one way. Their delicate love affair is almost derailed by their crippling shyness, emotional inarticulacy and burdensome parental expectations. Opened, reviewed, Sept. 27, 2017. And this is what happens to Jean-René, the boss of a small chocolate factory, and Angélique, a gifted chocolate maker he has just hired. Song steps in when speech falls short. Friendly warning! The cast has been confirmed for Romantics Anonymous musical's upcoming streamed production. London Theater Review: Emma Rice’s “Romantics Anonymous”Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, London; 320 seats; £62 ($81) top. Theatre Review: Romantics Anonymous (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse) Forget Follies. Musical confection … Carly Bawden (AngéŽlique) and Dominic Marsh (Jean-RenéŽ) in Romantics Anonymous. That phrase isn’t entirely translatable – Romantics Anonymous isn’t quite right. The theme winds its way through Rice’s book, from the ineffable pleasure of chocolate – a taste that defies description – to the support groups that defeat fears by voicing them out loud. Based on the 2010 French movie Les Émotifs Anonymes, this musical confection – composed with charm by Michael Kooman, and featuring sometimes droll lyrics by Christopher Dimond – is best described as a play with songs rather than an all-singing, all-dancing musical. The musical received positive reviews when it opened in London with five star reviews from BroadwayWorld and Musical Theatre Review and four star reviews from WhatsOnStage.com, The Stage, Financial Times, The Independent, Time Out London, London Times and The Guardian. She brings cue cards to their first date, only for him to flee to the toilet to change through a stash of sweat-sodden shirts. Romantics Anonymous is a multifaceted gem, chock-full of love, generosity and joy, and it fits the space like a glove. Factory owner Jean-René (Dominic Marsh) sits in his office, plugged into self-help tapes, while Angelique (Carly Bawden), a master chocolatier, joins a support group for the out-of-sorts, Les Emotifs Anonymes. There is also a sly nod to the self-help market, with Lauren Samuels terrific as the voice on a CD whose best advice for Jean-René is to be “strong and stable”. ABC News Anchor Tom Llamas Will Jump to NBC News, Richard Lewis Will Not Appear in ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Season 11, Kevin Hart to Star Alongside Cate Blanchett in ‘Borderlands’, How the Film Independent Spirit Nominations Could Affect the Oscars Race, ‘Harry Potter’ TV Series in Early Development at HBO Max, Pete Davidson and Glenn Close Were Made for Each Other, San Antonio Spur Trey Lyles Picks Up Brand-New L.A. Home, Yes, You Can Get a Canon Digital Camera Right Now for Just $229, This Chocolatier Would Love It If You Broke His Heart This Valentine’s Day, Record Super Bowl Ticket Prices Have Begun to Drop, Review: Focal Arche Amplifier Transforms Over-Ear Headphones Into High-Fidelity Sound Machines. Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London or sensitive hands this might be as cloying as an overscented violet cream, it! 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