★★★★ ‘mesmerising and groundbreaking… the perfect Christmas show… the music by Fyfe Dangerfield of the Guillemots is haunting… the story retains its integrity and originality… the projection is breath-taking… the images were amazing… Howl’s Moving Castle will be talked about as the first show from a very talented creative team which will go on to do much bigger things’ The Public Reviews
‘… a Christmas extravaganza with a difference… nothing short of breath-taking throughout… Fyfe Dangerfield’s stirring score compliments the stunning visuals perfectly… undeniably ground-breaking and technically dazzling’ Whatsonstage
‘Southwark Playhouse’s heroically ambitious Christmas show… jaw dropping snowy vistas are projected on to the impressive cardboard set… Fry’s voice is as soothing as mulled wine… Daniel Ings is deliciously mad as Howl’ Time Out Critics’ Choice
★★★★ ‘It’s not a story that immediately springs to mind as one that could be transported onto the stage but Mize Sizemore’s adaptation is cleverly done, paring back the tale to just four characters… Technical wizardry is matched by colourful performances. Stephen Fry’s teasing narrative injects the show with real warmth.’ Metro
‘…a theatre performance combining the appearance of a children’s pop-up book doors, windows, framed pictures and backdrop change and flare and melt and vanish. Villages, mountains and the nightmare kingdom of the Witch of the Waste rush towards you or flit past as the castle takes wing, and when characters run offstage they sometimes appear as minute animations of themselves, as if far behind the solid wall. It is clever and engrossing… Think of Jane Eyre crossed with Hogwarts (there is a fine wizard duel with wands and flash-crackles)’. The Times
‘Is it a play? Is it a film? Is it an installation? No, it’s super-theatre!…a triumph of theatrical imagination… special effects married perfectly to both an aesthetic sensibility and narrative obligation. Each of those images could be frozen and, like the work of film-maker Hayao Miyazaki stand alone as a thing of wonder. With all that going on behind them (and with a bit of Bob Hoskins/Jessica Rabbit style actor/animation interaction to deal with) the cast could get a little lost, but a tight script and fine performances allow them to hold their own… Howl’s Moving Castle is a treat for everyone.’ Broadway World.
‘Howl’s Moving Castle is an enchanting tale suitable for viewers of all ages. Based on the fantasy novel by Diana Wynne Jones, writer Mike Sizemore has created a compelling script that captures the story of the ostensibly evil, superficial Howl and his blossoming relationship with the lovely Sophie… sincere, funny and touching, jolly and sinister… Never a dull moment.’ Fourth Wall Magazine
Fusing live action and pioneering projection, Southwark Playhouse’s Christmas show recreated the magic of Diana Wynne Jones’ classic novel in one of London’s coolest performance spaces. The very first time the novel has been brought to the stage the show ran to sell out audiences from 28th November 2011 to 7th January 2012. The creative team used live projection throughout to immerse the audience within the world of The Castle. The production was Time Out London’s Critic’s Choice for Christmas 2011 and received many four-star reviews.
Written by Mike Sizemore, directed and designed by Davy and Kristin McGuire, original music composed by Fyfe Dangerfield, sound design by Jerry Ibbotson, lighting design by Tim Bray. Produced by Katherine Jewkes. The associate director was Jack Lowe. Moving Castle designs by David Kennedy.
Starring Daniel Ings as Howl, Susan Sheridan as Old Sophie, Kristin McGuire as Young Sophie and James Wilkes as Calcifer. Narrated by Stephen Fry as The Moving Castle.
“Sophie is an 18 year old girl who toils in the hat shop opened years ago by her late father. One day she finds she has unexpectedly angered the evil Witch of the Waste and finds herself trapped within a spell that turns the young Sophie into an old woman. Sophie takes shelter in the home of Howl, a strange but flamboyant wizard whose magical castle can move between various lands and dimensions powered by Calcifer, a fire demon. She embarks on a journey to break her own spell and the one binding Howl and Calcifer together only to discover that there is a lot more to heartless Howl than meets the eye.“