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Category Archives: Theatre/Musicals

First Show of the Year

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I kicked off my theatre going 2013 with the new musical ‘Loserville’ which unfortunately ended today as well. It was a show that my niece wanted to see before it closed. And after experiencing it, I’d wished I’d gone to see it before. It was a very lively, feel good show with superb choreography and imaginative set and props. Both myself and Jordan enjoyed it very much and came out buzzing. While I was in the West End I finally booked myself a ticket to see the stage show ‘Les Miserables’ for March but I’m sure I’ll find something else to go and see in the mean time.

Of course, no day out would be complete without a good meal. We randomly ended up in a Thai Style vegetarian buffet restaurant in Soho. It was different and enjoyable and I didn’t have to worry about what I was eating because everything was meat free and free of all animal products.

vegetarian foodWe had a bit of everything and the Mango juice was soooo nice! so pleased to eat vegetarian prawn crackers!

Vegetarian food

We went up for seconds and came back with Soya duck and pancakes!

fruit salad

We finished with a small bowl of fruit salad and mango jelly.

 

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Les Miserable Pre-Screening

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On Tuesday 4th I attended the pre-screening of the film adaptation of Les mis. It was a cast and crew event and I was very excited to be among the audience with my friend Julie. Despite being a big musical theatre fan I still haven’t got around to seeing this award-winning show at the West End. Guest speakers included theatre producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Director Tom Hooper who gave a very low-key introduction to one of the films biggest stars Hugh Jackman. His appearance was a little unexpected and left me overwhelmed being a big X-Men fan. After he said a few words they started the film.

As I hadn’t seen the theatre version I didn’t really know what to expect. The amazing Mr Jackman was unrecognisable in the first scenes playing a prisoner and it wasn’t until later in the film that I realised he had played that part. I was incredibly impressed with the stunning performances from all the actors and especially the main cast who I was surprised to hear sing fantastically. Helena Bonham Carter’s performance was very Sweeney Tod-esque and along with Sacha Baron Cohen added a slight comedy element to the otherwise serious storyline which breaks it up a little.

Overall I loved it. I thought it was very emotional and intense and I found myself holding my breath with anticipation in parts, I also shed a tear or two. I now look forward to the DVD release and I really must get to see the show in the West End now I know what to expect. It will be interesting to compare the two.

A Super Disappointment

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I’ve expressed my disappointment on twitter but now I’m going to express it here. I watched in horror as one talented individual was humiliated live on stage by Andrew Lloyd Webber on ITV1’s ‘Superstar’. Throughout the series Webber showed a clear dislike of ¬†23-year-old rock singer Nathan James while auditioning for the role of Jesus for the ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ arena tour. Nathan delivered a fantastic performance each night and took on board the comments that the judges gave afterwards. But no matter how much he adapted his performances to suit the judges previous comments, it wasn’t good enough.

His rendition of ‘Sweet child of mine’ by Guns ‘n’ Roses was mind-blowing yet he was accused of coming across as big-headed. Nathan regularly updates his followers on twitter and would urge them to get voting when he needed it. If anything, in my opinion he came across as insecure and was being misinterpreted by many people. He was fully aware that he wasn’t to everyone’s taste but people were confusing his efforts with being egotistic.

Last night Webber made a personal attack on Nathan regarding a picture that he re-tweeted. The picture in question was a drawing of Nathan wearing a crown of thorns created by a fan (which I must add was very good). Webber proceeded to say quite angrily “Why do you tweet this nonsense?”. Nathan was speechless and looked as though he was going to burst into tears.

In my opinion Andrew Lloyd Webber wasn’t liking the fact that Nathan was winning over more supporters with his talent because he had a clear favourite. Despite Roger Wright’s (former West End Lion King star) average vocal performances, Andrew praised him time and time again. When Nathan ended up in the bottom two with no other than Roger, there was an up-raw. Webber was accused of swaying the public votes and caused the people to think that the show was fixed. Fans had experienced trouble trying to vote for Nathan as lines were apparently busy. Nathan put %110 into the sing-off. He really acted the song whereas Roger had the same expression on his face throughout. Acting ability is also meant to be judged in the show but in this case it was clearly ignored. There was no guessing as to who Webber was going to put through even though Nathan gave the better performance out of the two.

I’d like to say that it was unprofessional of Webber to use personal criticism in such an aggressive manner on live television. Twitter has nothing to do with someones singing ability and if they were really that bothered about Nathan’s tweets they should have had a private word with him away from the cameras. It was embarrassing and uncomfortable to watch but Nathan held it together and made a dignified exit from the show. We certainly won’t be hearing the last of him and I look forward to hearing of his new ventures. On the other hand I won’t be tuning into the last two shows purely because I’m not the slightest bit interested in the final line-up and don’t think any of them would suit the role of Jesus.

 

Ghost the Musical – A Short Review

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In the run-up to Richard and Caissie’s transfer to Broadway with Ghost the musical I had to share with you my thoughts about currently successful West End shows. I heard mixed reviews to begin with so I knew I had to see for myself. I must admit I was a little reluctant at first as I knew that nothing could better such a classic well-loved film. For those of you who haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about, this is the musical theatre version of the legendary Patrick Swayze film in which his character Sam Wheat is killed in cold blood during a high point in his relationship with artist Molly Jensen. Caught in-between worlds; Sam, with the help of opinionated and witty medium Oda Mae Brown, solve his murder.

Considering that the original film was made over 20 years ago, the modernisation of the theatre production doesn’t affect the way in which the story is portrayed. In fact the story line stays true to the film with only minor alterations. If you are a big fan of the film then you will notice that they have re-written parts and missed bits out to make it more adaptable for the stage. But don’t let this put you off.

They couldn’t have chosen a better cast. All the mains have an incredible stage presence and the choreography is amazing. For those of you that have no recollection of who Richard Fleeshman is, then don’t worry about it. He will build more credibility in the West End than he ever did in his previous career. Accompanied by Caissie Levy, the pair of them will blow you away with their vocals. The songs are a masterpiece alone and even the overture will send shivers down your spine.

So much emotion has been poured into this musical which is how it should be. You start to feel as though the characters are real. Whoopi Goldberg eat your heart out, Sharon D Clarke as Oda Mae Brown will have you rolling in the isles and you couldn’t get a better villain ¬†than Ivan De Freitas who plays Willy Lopez.

The whole show is visually stunning throughout and on occasions will leave you open-mouthed and gasping in disbelief. The illusions and special effects are phenomenal. You have to see it to believe it. That’s why I don’t want to give too much away. But if you walk into the theatre thinking that you are going to get a Patrick Swayze double and the show is going to be exactly the same as the film then your wrong. Go with an open mind and enjoy.

Jersey Boys at John Lewis

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Today I went along to John Lewis in Oxford Street for a special performance by the Jersey Boys. Jon Lee, Matthew Wycliffe, Jon Boydon and Eugene McCoy sounded fantastic as they sang songs from the West End hit (currently showing at the Prince Edward theatre) despite being given the tiniest of spaces to manoeuvre. Songs including ‘Walk Like a Man’, ‘Sherry’ and ‘Who Loves You’ were to be heard throughout the whole store; stopping people in their tracks. I do love free entertainment!