Monday, September 11, 2006

A theatre review

This weekend I was in the capital for a little culture. I apologise for not telling you all before I went, but I don't think you missed me anyhow, heh.

Anyway, while I was there I managed to see two shows, Wicked and The Last Five Years. Both fantastic musicals which I shall go into in a little more detail later.

This weekend was a bit of a bonding experience for me, my sister (Peggy) and my mum. We headed down via train where I managed to embarrass my dear sister by forgetting that my mp3 speakers were left on (it doesnt necessarily need headphones) and not realising that Roy Orbison was blaring out into the whole carriage because I had my headphones on. We managed to negotiate the tube system and only got on the wrong train once, and we dumped our bags in the travelodge we were staying in and marvelled at our beautiful view...

Yes, a brick wall, isn't it lovely?

Once that was done it was back into the centre for Wicked. For those who haven't heard of this musical, it was a big hit on Broadway. It is basically the story of the wizard of oz, except turned on its' head. In this musical the wicked witch of the West is the good one. Wicked follows the story of Elphaba, the wicked witch of the west, from her birth til her demise at the hands of a young farm girl. Fantastic set, score and performances from all involved in this. The entire cast are extremely talented, a fact which asserts itself when I was struck dumb by some of the emsembles' voices. Special mentions go to James Gillan, who is talented and an utter sweetheart. He plays Boq, a charming Scottish munchkin with a massive crush on Galinda. Other mentions go to Idina Menzel who plays Elphaba, what a voice, and Katie Rowley Jones who plays Nessarose, again another gorgeous voice. My prediction is that Wicked will be a fixture in the West End for quite some time.

After the show a trip to the stage door was necessary as I am in fact a closet stage door fan. We got a fair few people to sign our program. Miriam Margolyes who plays Madam Morrible is a legend, so lovely and happy to sign programs. We also ran into a few fans we knew from another musical not so long ago (Taboo). We all seemed quite pleased to see each other, and me and Peggy were quite amused to see them dressed up as characters from Wicked. They are part of a Rocky Horror performing group called Less Vulnerable. Hence their penchant for costumes. After getting all the autographs we wanted and also nearly getting run over by a big red bus we headed back to sleep.

Bright and not really that early that next day we headed to camden market for shopping, I'd never been before so I do recommend it, there's some pretty stuff out there. The we went over to Vinopolis to use my dads birthday present of a wine tasting tour (I did feel bad about taking up his ticket, but it isn't my fault is he decided not to come and use it himself). We enjoyed the tour so much we came out slightly tipsy, got lost, had to ask directions from a bunch of Swiss Americans (they said they were from Switzerland but they sounded American) and had to leg it to the theatre so we wouldn't miss the matinee. There's nothing more sobering than having to run across London roads without hurting yourself.

The Last Five Years focuses on a five year long relationship with each of the couple starting at different points in the relationship. Jamie starts at the beginning, Cathy starts at the end and they work their way to when the meet in the middle at their wedding, then they split off again as Jamie works his way towards the end and Cathy moves towards the beginning. They end on a song where both of them are saying goodbye, Cathy after the first date, and Jamie for good at the end of the relationship. In my opinion after the initial confusion, this was a very moving piece of theatre, and a novel way of showing it. There wasn't a single song I didn't like and the two members of the casts' voices were brilliant. I'd definitely recommend seeing this.

Finally we had dinner in the Great Nepalese restaurant, which was lovely, and caught our train home. The lovely end to a lovely weekend.


thethinker said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend. (I'm jealous)

Someone should go paint a nice mural of a good view on that brick wall. Nobody would have to know the difference.

Carmelo Alongi said...

London's great isn' it? And whats that about we don't care?! Of course we do.

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