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“A visual feast” – Reviewing Life of Pi at Hull New Theatre



The award-winning “Life of Pi” has come to Hull this week, and last night, I attended the opening night showing at Hull New Theatre.

And from the moment the lights dimmed, we were whisked away on a journey that was both visually stunning and deeply thought-provoking, thanks to some seriously clever staging and a story that grabs you and doesn’t let go.

Now it’s been a long time since I watched the film, but if you’ve seen it, you’ll know that most of it is set in the ocean – normally a challenge when trying to convey it on the stage traditionally. But thanks to digital projection, the crew conjured up the vastness of the ocean, the ferocity of the storm, and the tranquillity of the starlit nights that Pi finds himself adrift in.

What impressed me the most was how each scene seamlessly flowed into the next. One minute you were deep into the ocean and then next, before you even realised, you were back in Pi’s hospital room.

At the heart of this spectacle was Divesh Subaskaran, taking on the role of Pi. To say he nailed it would be an understatement. He brought a mix of vulnerability and determination to the role that made you root for him from start to finish. His timing, especially with the lighter moments, provided a much-needed balance to the drama of survival against the odds.

The entire cast was on point too, bringing energy and authenticity that made the unbelievable seem believable, especially with the animal puppetry.

But what really struck me was how the show delves into the theme of faith. It’s not just about surviving a shipwreck or sharing a lifeboat with a tiger. It’s about believing in something greater, even when the odds seem impossible. Through Pi’s journey, we’re asked to consider our own beliefs, to find the extraordinary in the everyday, and to question the nature of the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and what we’re capable of.

In short, “Life of Pi” is a visual feast, a thought experiment, and a rollercoaster of emotions all rolled into one. Whether you’re a fan of the book, the film, or just stumbling upon Pi’s story for the first time, this production has something for you.

It’s showing at Hull New Theatre until the 30 Mar 2024 – Tickets available at

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