Play of the week: The Light Princess, National Theatre: Lyttelton, London SE1

 

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The Independent Culture

In keeping with Nicholas Hytner's refusal to play safe with the musical genre, this collaboration between Tori Amos and the dramatist Samuel Adamson – brilliantly staged by Marianne Elliott – is a ravishing fusion of theatrical arts.

Giving a feminist twist to a Victorian fairy tale by George MacDonald, it's a darkly droll coming-of-age piece that focuses on the heirs to two kingdoms and their reactions to grief.

Princess Althea takes refuge in a perverse weightlessness; Prince Digby copes with loss by becoming a solemn soldier.

Rosalie Craig pours forth a stream of glorious sound, Amos's score is richly textured, and Rae Smith's designs have a delectable wit. Bewitching.

(020 7452 3000) to 9 January

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