SOUNDS AND SORCERY: CELEBRATING DISNEY’S FANTASIA | London, The Vaults

A ninety-minute walk-through exhibition where each room has its own little sound-and-light-show, plus live actors, based on the iconic music and visuals from Disney’s 1940 Fantasia… umm, yes please? Yes, the wireless headphones are a little quiet and dodgy, and yes, real life is unable to remotely contend with the imagination and splendour of the original animation, but still.

I asked a little girl what her favourite room was and her answer surprised me: the room with giant, ultra-violet illuminated flowers gently pulsating to the music of The Nutcracker. My favourite room was winching the technicolour, cotton-wool clouds up and down over the actors dancing a comic ballet. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, with an all female cast and a bubbling, overflowing water-well, plays out like an enchanting silent movie in real-time, and you will get wet.

A word of warning: if you haven’t been to The Vaults in Waterloo before, it’s a very difficult venue to find. Once you’ve found it, you’ll notice a long queue for security and another long queue for the box office, and there are no toilets until after the show. You book a specific entry time so make sure you get to the venue long in advance, or you’ll miss it. This is particularly important if bringing children. The venue is hot, underground, and only partially ventilated.

You may find that after such an experience, you long to bask once again in the magic of the original. This is, after all, a celebration of the Disney classic; not trying to better it but simply to riff off it. And like Disney’s original, this is certainly a magical introduction — and reintroduction — to the wonder of music.

At The Vaults in Waterloo until 30 September 2018.

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