Is that a bird? A plane? No, it’s Rosalie Craig, and what a soaring, magical flight hers is. Harking back to Jacobean tales of star-crossed lovers and enchanted wilderness spaces, George Macdonald’s 1864 fairy-tale has been gloriously reimagined in Marianne Elliot’s The Light Princess. Samuel Adamson’s welcome adaptation to the original story provides a nuanced interpretation of Althea’s aversion to gravity; indeed, this story is really about a girl who cannot process her grief so literally lives with her head in the clouds. Interestingly, it is this story of self-development – not the one of two lovers – that takes centre stage, and it is a story we can all relate to on a thoroughly modern level.

Perhaps the most staggering aspect of The Light Princess is the visual splendour of Craig floating through a trippy universe of sensory delight. Indeed, the dovetailing efforts of Steven Hoggett’s choreography and the ever-brilliant Rae Smith’s set design envelop the audience in their weightless world. Eschewing the rather obvious solution of Peter Pan wires, Hoggett puts Craig into the unbelievably strong hands of dark-clothed acrobats. Not only do they keep her afloat during the entire performance, they make it look utterly effortless. Indeed, Craig is nothing short of a miracle in her stunning ability to keep control of both her voice and her body whilst being kept up with three toes and a little finger.

The biggest buzz surrounding the play certainly centred on Tori Amos’s score. However, it was rather shown-up by the visual spectacular accompanying it. Having said that, despite some songs melting into a bit of a wail-y mush due to shortcomings in lyrical sophistication and musicality, there were a couple of rousing belters that afforded the play an enjoyable momentum.

Most importantly, where Amos’s score didn’t meet perhaps unfairly high expectations, the play confounded the fairy-tale rule-book by giving us a feminist fable instead. Indeed, The Light Princess offers much more than the predictable equation of boy-meets-girl. Nevertheless, the play isn’t particularly serious – don’t expect Ibsen-esque insights into the human condition – but it doesn’t try to be either; The Light Princess is fabulous family fun with a joyously camp cherry on top. If you want to spend an evening of pure, exquisite escapism, go and see the Light Princess and you’ll float away together.

Reviews by Emma Banks

Almeida Theatre


Battersea Arts Centre

The Rove

National Theatre

A Taste of Honey


The Light Princess


Blurred Lines


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

Once, in opposing kingdoms lived a princess and a prince who had lost their mothers. Althea, unable to cry, became light with grief and floated, and so was locked away. Digby became so heavy-hearted that he could never smile, and so was trained as a warrior. Then, one day, he declares war.

Althea is forced out of hiding and down to ground but, in defiance of her father, she escapes, only to encounter the solemn prince. Beside a lake the warring heirs begin a passionate and illicit affair. But for Althea to find real love, she must first confront the world’s darkness and face her own deepest fears.

Most Popular See More

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets