The Time Traveller's Wife: The Musical

Book by Lauren Gunderson, music & lyrics by Joss Stone & Dave Stewart
Colin Ingram, InTheatre
Apollo Theatre

Listing details and ticket info...

David Hunter as Henry Credit: Johan Persson
David Hunter as Henry Credit: Johan Persson
Joanna Woodward (centre) as Clare & company Credit: Johan Persson

Adapted from Audrey Niffenegger's 2003 bestseller, The Time Traveller's Wife: The Musical endeavours to bring a fresh musical take on this temporal whirlwind, though whether it will stand the test of time is uncertain.

As Henry (David Hunter) and Clare (Joanna Woodward) retrace their steps back and forth through their love story, the production's musical interjections struggle to support the weight of a narrative that feels ill-equipped for the stage, with the show's elaborate illusions and design desperate to redeem it with sheer spectacle.

Despite its title, at the heart of the tale lie Henry's ricochets through time and space, leaving star-crossed Clare increasingly bereft in his wake. From her childhood to their engagement and beyond, they zig-zag through chapters of life at a breakneck speed that feels distinctly cinematic, without stopping to consider any of the "big questions" that arise along the way.

Dave Stewart and Joss Stone's musical score provides Joanna Woodward, in particular, opportunities to enliven with impressive vocal ability; even the most remarkable efforts to wrangle this show's lyrics reveal an innate tension between the show's glossy exterior and its untapped emotive potential. Unfortunately, for Hunter and Woodward alike, the lyrics simply do not provide them with the ammunition, nor clarity, to truthfully convey anything deeper, and at times feel like functional links between the fragments of this narrative.

The musical begins rallies in the second act, with one of the more compelling numbers, "Journeyman". Accompanied by breathtaking projection work by Andrzej Goulding, this sequence vividly depicts Henry's time-traveling experiences. Questions regarding time and mortality are gradually delved into more deeply, allowing the romance to evolve from a mere performance to something more genuinely felt.

A strong ensemble cast provide a good bedrock for the show to return to in the few moments that Hunter and Woodward are not at the centre of the plot: Hiba Elchikhe providing another strong vocal performance alongside comic relief from Tim Mahendran as Charisse and Gomez respectively.

There's no denying that this is a production that pulls out all of the stops to realise this latest adaptation of Niffenegger's bestseller, but its colossal undertaking feels strained and compensatory in its spectacle at times, while underserving its obvious potential for catharsis.

Reviewer: Kane Taylor

*Some links, including Amazon,,, ATG Tickets, LOVEtheatre, BTG Tickets, Ticketmaster, LW Theatres and QuayTickets, are affiliate links for which BTG may earn a small fee at no extra cost to the purchaser.

Are you sure?