Notre Dame

Stuart Crowther’s adaptation of Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame is proof that streamed performances can bring the magic of theatre and then some into our homes, differing completely from watching a show live. Directed by Stephen Smith, Notre Dame is an immersive reimagining of a classic that is unfamiliar enough that such adaptations as this shine a new light on the characters and their motivations.

A great example of how much streamed theatre has to offer

Narrated by the gargoyle, Stryga (Lizzie Burder), we are taken through the events

surrounding a murder which Esmerelda (Maria Masonou) is blamed for, forcing

her to seek shelter inside of Notre Dame Cathedral. Within its walls, she is drawn into the relationship between the priest, Frollo (Duncan Riches), and Quasimodo (Gary Duncan), the bellringer. The non-linear structure of Crowther’s script allows for a better focus on the characters themselves, giving voice to their inner thoughts. Each soliloquy takes on a different tone, building on the previous one which creates an incredibly rich exploration of the themes and messages of Hugo’s original novel. The first-person narrative increases the tension of certain moments and experiences that each of them faces.

This production’s mainflaw is that it has a tendency to overuse things, from camera angles to theatre devices, so the show becomes rather repetitive towards the end. Sadly, this is also the case with the writing. Here the the non-linear structure is a disadvantage and combined with the characters’ monologues, it becomes rather difficult to follow, especially when either the cast’s diction or technology

does not carry the words through clearly.

Using projections and a touch of movie magic, the creative team has turned The Space into the famous Notre Dame. Throughout the show, the camera tends to favour close ups on each character, as we are shown either their reactions to events happening to them or their stream of consciousness monologue. Joseph Furey’s sound design increases the tension of these moments, as the sound overwhelms and blocks everything around us to the point where we ourselves feel the space closing in on us from behind the screen.

We never see Burder’s face, but she narrates events to the point where we can almost see her expressions behind the mask she wears. There is an edge to her voice which is perhaps informed by sarcasm and weariness of the state of what she sees, and in doing so Burder voices the lamentable role of the audience that increases as the play progresses; we just watch, that’s the only thing that we can do. Riches plays the Machiavellian villain Frollo extremely well, casting an incredibly sinister shadow over the entire play. It is hard to say which of the two sides of the character is more dislikeable – the collected smugness or frantic madness – which goes to show the care taken by Riches in developing this character.

Due to its immersive and online nature, Notre Dame becomes an incredibly well-rounded show, creating scenes that it would be difficult to recreate live. A great example of how much streamed theatre has to offer.

Reviews by Katerina Partolina Schwartz

Leicester Square Theatre

Rosie Holt: The Woman’s Hour


Villain, Interrupted

Alexandra Palace / Leicester Square Theatre

Grace Campbell: A Show About Me(n)

Garrick Theatre

Bonnie & Clyde

The Mill at Sonning Theatre

We’ll Always Have Paris


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Notre Dame is an online ‘promenade digital theatre’ event: shot in one singular take and streamed 100% live for an at-home audience.

Paris, 1480s. Esmerelda is seen pursued by a merciless mob. Covered in blood, she flees the scene of a murder and claims sanctuary within the stone walls of the Notre Dame cathedral. Inside, she soon becomes trapped in a triangle of obsession and control between the perverse priest Frollo and his bellringer assistant, Quasimodo.

Brought to you by the same team behind our Offie Award-winning livestream production of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat, which we hosted during the lockdown of 2021, this new adaptation of Victor Hugo’s epic and timeless tale combines Threedumb Theatre’s signature style of innovative one-shot filmmaking, imaginative storytelling techniques and inventive use of livestreaming technology.This production shows that digital theatre is not dead, but an equally viable and entertaining way of experiencing live theatre – made specifically for an at-home viewing experience.

Most Popular See More

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets