The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings

A CurtainUp London Review
The Prince of Egypt

"Deliver us!"
— Hebrews
The Prince of Egypt
Cast of The Prince of Egypt in Burning Bush scene
(Photo: Tristram Kenton)
The Prince of Egypt 1998 cartoon movie passed me by with neither children young enough nor yet grandchildren to appreciate it, but I was excited by the advance publicity for the new musical with a score by Stephen Schwartz, the composer of Wicked. I was thankful that I knew enough about Moses from school to grasp the basics of the story because otherwise I would have been very muddled instead of merely partially muddled.

The story is a blend of biblical history and new stories but the words for the introductory number were drowned out by poor balance between the many singing on stage and the orchestra. I knew about Moses, the baby in the bullrushes, who in this instance is rescued not by the Pharoah's Daughter and brought up as her adopted son, but by Queen Tuya (Debbie Kurup). Tuya is Seti, the Pharoah (Joe Dixon)'s wife and they raise Moses as a brother to the heir apparent Prince Ramses (Liam Tamne).

You make think initially you have come to an S and M show as the whips crack and the Hebrew slaves are badly treated, including of course the population controls ordered by the Pharoah of killing babies. The staging of the bullrushes scene has Moses rescued by some blue balletic swans who wouldn't look out of place in Billy Elliot. The blue is presumably a reference to the Blue Nile but I am still useless at geography. Great blocks of building materials construct the Pyramids.

The Egyptian court is finely dressed although I couldn't quite see lumbering Joe Dixon as a majestic Pharoah but the amount of gold is appreciated. Birkenstocks must have done a roaring trade in oversize, gold male sandals! Hanging fringe curtains reflect the Egyptian's predilection for pleating fabric and heads of the Pharoahs are projected right into the auditorium side boxes, as are later screens of hieroglyphs or Egyptian drawings.

Behind the fringing are projections of landscape often of the desert. A secret room in the temple, ruled by the villainous priest Hotep (the musical star we all love to hate, Adam Pearce, who has finally escaped from shows of Evita) is used by Ramses and Moses. Hotep has some good tricks up his sleeve like turning a staff into a serpent courtesy Chris Fisher illusions. This secret room has a line of human caryatids holding the beam and, seeing them only from the rear, they are a fun design feature.

Sibling rivalry features in the first scenes as Moses (Luke Brady) shows up the Pharoah's legitimate and biological son in almost every task. A chariot race is staged Bob Fosse style with dancers forming the chariots and with Moses and Ramses competing. Ramses' bride is chosen for him: Nefertari (a beautiful Tanisha Spring) and Moses's heart is captured by the caged dancing Midianite princess Tzipporah (Christine Allado on top form). Tzipporah is the daughter of Jethro (Gary Wilmot in headband) leading a bunch of Midianite hippies.

The Hebrew slave choreography is rather too much confined to rolling around on the stage in costumes that look as if they have been made out of assorted cat fur. The whole show is very busy with only the love duets calming things down a bit. I liked much of the score with its reliance on Israeli or Middle Eastern rhythms but Schwartz's lyrics are mundane and don't soar as much as his tunes.

I loved the singing voices of the main women, Christine Allado, Alexia Khadime as Miriam and Tanisha Spring as Queen Nefertari and the tunes would be better appreciated with a better book and less razzmatazz. The hit song "When You Believe" is sung superbly by Alexia Khadime and Christine Allado. The stage briefly lights up with the burning bush scene, the flames are dancers, the waters of the Nile turn red with blood and the Red Sea parts to let the Hebrews through. The number of plagues are very reduced but Hotep is hit badly with red, oozing pustulent boils. Let's move on!

The night I saw it, the audience were ecstatic, on their feet and cheering happily. I found it fun too, maybe not in quite the way that the Schwartzes intended. Time will tell!
Musical Numbers
Act One
  • Deliver Us - Egyptian Overseers, Hebrews, Yocheved, Tuya, Young Miriam
  • Faster -Moses, Ramses, Hotep, Priests
  • One Weak Link - Seti
  • Footprints on the Sand - Moses
  • One Weak Link (Reprise) - Ramses, Moses
  • Seti's Return - Egyptian Court
  • Dance to the Day - Tzipporah
  • All I Ever Wanted - Miriam, Moses, Yocheved, Seti, Tuya
  • The Laws of the Gods - Hotep, Ensemble
  • Make It Right – Ramses, Moses
  • Moses in the Dessert - Moses, Ensemble
  • Through Heaven's Eyes – Jethro, Midianites
  • Faster (Reprise)– Ramses, Moses
  • Never in a Million Years – Tzipporah, Moses
  • Act One Finale – Full Company
Act Two
  • Through Heaven's Eyes (Reprise)- Tzipporah
  • The Naming Ceremony - Tzipporah, Hotep, Priests, Egyptian Court
  • Always on Your Side - Ramses, Moses
  • Simcha - Moses, Tzipporah, Miriam, Hebrews
  • Deliver Us (Reprise) - Aaron, Hebrews
  • The Plagues - Ramses, Hotep, Miriam, Aaron, Moses, Tuya, Priests, Hebrews, Egyptians
  • For the Rest of My Life - Moses
  • Heartless - Nefertari
  • When You Believe – Miriam, Tzipporah, Young Girl, Moses, Hebrews
  • Act Two Finale - Full Company

Search CurtainUp in the box below Back to Curtainup Main Page

The Prince of Egypt
Book by Philip Lazebnik
Music and Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz
Based on the Dreamworks Animation Film
Directed by Scott Schwartz
Starring: Luke Brady, Liam Tamne, Christine Allado, Alexia Khadime, Joe Dixon, Debbie Kurup, Gary Wilmot, Mercedesz Csampai, Adam Pearce, Tanisha Spring, Silas Wyatt-Barke
With: Simbi Akande, Casey Al-Shaqsy, Joe Atkinson, Danny Becker, Felipe Bejarano, Paje Campbell, Adam Filipe, Soophia Foroughi, Natalie Green, Jack Harrison-Cooper, Rachael Ireson, Kalene Jeans, Christian Alexander Knight, Jessica Lee, Oliver Lidert, Jay Marsh, Scott Morris, Carly Miles, Sam Oladeinde, Alice Readie, Christopher Short, Molly Smith, Ricardo Walker, Danny Williams, Nico Wirachman, Sasha Woodward, Leo Babet, Jonah Collier, Taylor Jenkins, Mia Lakha, Iman Pabani, Hannah Selk
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Music Supervisor and Arrangements: Dominick Amendum
Vocal Arrangements: Emily Marshall
Musical Director: Dave Rose
Orchestrations: August Eriksmoen
Set Designer: Kevin Depinet
Costume Design: Ann Hould-Ward
Illusions: Chris Fisher
Lighting Design: Mike Billings
Sound Design: Gareth Owen
Projection Design: John Driscoll
Running time: Two hour 45 minutes with an interval
Box Office: 0345 200 7982
Booking to 31st October 2020
Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge based on 18th February 2020 at the Dominion Theatre, 268 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7AQ (Tube: Tottenham Court Road)
Index of reviewed shows still running

Highlight one of the responses below and click "copy" or"CTRL+C"
  • I agree with the review of The Prince of Egypt
  • I disagree with the review of The Prince of Egypt
  • The review made me eager to see The Prince of Egypt
Click on the address link E-mail:
Paste the highlighted text into the subject line (CTRL+ V):

Feel free to add detailed comments in the body of the email. . .also the names and emails of any friends to whom you'd like us to forward a copy of this review.

For a feed to reviews and features as they are posted at to your reader
Curtainup at Facebook . . . Curtainup at Twitter

©Copyright 2020, Elyse Sommer.
Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from .