Romantic Rock Time Travel

“Everything is in the future for you but you are in the past for me.”


Joanna Woodward as Clare and Company. (Photo: Johan Persson)

Unusually I had read Audrey Niffenegger’s novel The Time Traveller’s Wife twenty years ago and, yes, embarrassing though it is, I remember crying at the end.  I normally eschew any form of science fiction but the romance got to me! The book for the musical has been written by Lauren Gunderson, America’s most produced playwright on several occasions this century.  I loved her The Book of Will about the First Folio.

Having just viewed the ITV X Series The Other Mrs Jordan about the bigamist, it did occur to me that Time Travel was as good an excuse for disappearances as being involved with the CIA as a spy.  The musical song writing team of Joss Stone and Dave Stewart formerly of the Eurhythmics  was an exciting one for me.  The stage curtain at the Apollo is a beautiful meadow scene but more of that later. 

David Hunter as Henry (Photo: Johan Persson)

At a library in Chicago, 20 year old paper sculptor Clare (Joanna Woodward) goes to research an art work and meets 28 year old Henry (David Hunter), a librarian who keeps leaving piles of clothes around the vast library.  She sings “Masterpiece”. On this occasion, in fact for all of the first act, Clare knows who he is but Henry doesn’t know her.  I hope you will accept that Henry materialising, naked, in his thirties in the company of a six year old girl can be received by you in the innocence intended and not seen as grooming by a potential paedophile. 

Clare’s first big number is the powerful “Masterpiece” where she talks about her 14 year history with Henry since she was six years old.  Henry’s rock ballad “Will You Wait For Me” introduces his problem of having no control over when he disappears or reappears.  We don’t know where he goes to, just where he remembers he has been.  A scene is set in the pretty country meadow where Claire is ten and Henry is 28.  A flash special effect sees Henry arrive to sing “Will You Wait For Me.”

Joanna Woodward as Clare and David Hunter as Henry (Photo: Johan Persson)

We go back to Henry’s childhood where he is in a pram with his mother an opera singer (Sorelle Marsh) and his father (Ross Dawes).  It is during a car accident when he is six that Henry’s genetic flaw is revealed as he is whisked off elsewhere. We see Clare at 16 in High School and meet her friend and admirer Gomez (Tim Mahendran) and her best friend Charisse (Hiba Elchikhe) and see a bad experience at the prom.

Act Two opens with Henry singing “Journeyman” probably the best number in the show with lovely monochrome design and projections as he sings about the transitioning time travel “like a tattoo of goosebumps”.  Clare is older now and he secures their future.  She says, “There are very few perks of being married to a time traveller, but this is one of them.”

They are married.  Clare has five tragic miscarriages and Henry takes a unilateral decision, acting without telling her.  The song “Lies” has been largely cut but Gomez and Henry sing “A Woman’s Intuition” about getting found out. 

Tim Mahendran as Gomez, David Hunter as Henry and Hiba Eichikhe as Charisse. (Photo: Johan Persson)

The performances are strong.  Joanna Woodward as Clare is a powerful singer and actor who is easy to identify with as she waits for Henry’s reappearances.  I watched one episode of the HBO series which was cancelled after one series where Clare has a book with all the dates when she could expect to meet Henry again.  Henry had given her the dates. 

David Hunter as Henry is more reticent, maybe restrained by all those naked reappearances presenting the necessity to steal or find clothes! But his song “Journeyman” is a highlight of the show.  I liked too Gomez who is a quirky character and as Clarisse, Hiba Elchikhe has a beautiful voice.

Anna Fleishle’s attractive flats vary the settings and provide Henry with somewhere to hide while the special effects create magical appearances and disappearances.  There is little choreography which is a shame. 

The musical of The Time Traveller’s Wife has good music set to an original storyline in a reliable, if middle of the road, production. 

Joanna Woodward as Clare (Photo: Johan Persson)

Musical Numbers

Act One



Wait For Me

One Day

Damn Fool Love

I See Her

Who Are We?


Act Two



This Time

A Woman’s Intuition

I’m in Control

Make It New

On and On

Love Wins the Day  (Finale)

Production Notes

The Time Traveller’s Wife

Book by Lauren Gunderson

Music by Dave Stewart

Lyrics by Joss Stone

Directed by Bill Buckhurst



David Hunter

Hiba Elchikhe

Joanna Woodward

Tim Mahendran


Alex Lodge

Alwyne Taylor

Billie Hardy

Bobby Windebank

Helena Pipe

Irfan Damani

Nathaniel Purnell

Lily Hannah

Poppy Pawson

Sorelle Marsh

Alexandra Doar

Daniel George-Wright

Serina Mathew

Ava Critchell

Holly-Jade Roberts

Ross Dawes,


Director: Bill Buckhurst

Author: Bruce Joel Rubin, Audrey Niffenegger

Additional Music: Nick Finlow

Additional Lyrics:  Kait Kerrigan

Choreographer: Shelley Maxwell

Designer: Anna Fleischle

Musical Supervisor: Nick Finlow

Lighting Designer:  BRory Beaton

Sound Designer: Richard Brooker and Pete Malkin

Video/Projection Designer: Andrzej Goulding

Musical Director: Katharine Woolley


Running Time: Two hours 30 minutes with an interval

Booking until 30th March 2024 



Apollo Theatre

Shaftesbury Avenue

London W1D 7EZ

Box Office: 0330 333 4809

Tube: Piccadilly Circus

Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge at the Apollo

on 1st November 2023

Company. (Photo: Johan Persson)