Theatre Stuff

Musicals Monday

I’ve been thinking about musicals a bit today. Mid afternoon I suddenly remembered that tickets had gone on sale for the tour of The Band – the new musical that features songs by Take That and includes the boyband put together on Let It Shine on the BBC. I logged on and managed to get tickets for me and my mom to see it next year in Birmingham. 

While I was there I checked on the availability of tickets for the touring production of The Addams Family this summer. I found out about it when Carrie Hope Fletcher announced she was going to be playing Wednesday in this production. Before that I hadn’t actually heard of the show but a friend who knows plenty about musical theatre speaks highly of the score, and has assured my meagre knowledge of the screen versions of The Addams Family won’t be an issue. I’m still deciding between dates but am glad to see I’ll be able to get sorted with a  ticket for it.

A couple of months ago Carrie posted this video, an updated version of her singing Pulled from the show (apparently there’s an older version too on her channel). Based on this I’m really looking forward to seeing her Wednesday on stage.

Music · Theatre Stuff

Over sideways and under.

Last night I went to see Aladdin with my friend Gemma. It was our birthday present to each other, and I have to say I think we chose a very good gift!

When Aladdin first opened on Broadway I was intrigued by how they would have translated it to the stage, I’d seen and enjoyed Beauty and the Beast so hoped that Aladdin would get a West End transfer at some point. Last year it arrived, and while I haven’t heard as much about it as I’d expected to what I have heard has been positive.

We had really good seats, about halfway back in the dress circle and off to one side. They’d been labelled as potentially having a restricted view but we could see absolutely everything – even heads in front of us didn’t cause any problem, I’m pretty short so this is always a risk.

It was good that our view was unrestricted as there’s plenty to see. The show is bright, colourful and just brilliant fun. There are a few changes to the film that make some of the trickier parts to imagine translated much easier to put on the stage.¬†The absolute highlight of the show was Trevor Dion Nicholas as the Genie. It must be so daunting to take on a role that was so brilliantly created by Robin Williams in the original movie, and it was great to see the little ways that the part had been tweaked to allow it to stand separate. Virtually all of my favourite moments came from the Genie.

I don’t want to talk about my favourite bits – I appreciated the fact I hadn’t heard and read anything about the staging so I don’t want to in turn spoil anything for anyone who is going to go and see it. And you really should be thinking about it.

I’ll leave you with this, the Broadway casts of The Lion King and Aladdin performing some of each other’s songs.

Music · Theatre Stuff

They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway.

A quick post today, I’m off for dinner tonight with friends so am putting this together on my lunch break. The last couple of days have been filled with theatre excitement, yesterday we got tickets for Hamilton in London and today we’ve got tickets to see Aladdin. Two musicals I’m so excited to see, I’ve got to wait until December for Hamilton but Aladdin is only a couple of weeks ago.

In honour of this theatrical excitement I thought I’d share a video I’ve recently been watching and loving – James Corden and Neil Patrick Harris in a Broadway riff-off.

Life · Music · Theatre Stuff

Growing Up.

I’ve not been blogging much for the last couple of weeks partly because I’ve been really busy with uni work and Beavers, and partly because I’ve been in a pretty introspective, navel gazing type of mood – and that does not make for interesting blog posts.

There’s a lot of change going on in my life at the moment, and I’ve been doing some hard thinking about what I want to be doing with my life in both the short and long term and what I need to do in order to get to where I want to be. I find I can’t think about the future too much without the brilliant When I Grow Up from the stage version of Matilda jumping into my head. Its mention of eating sweets made it an instant favourite of mine, but a lot of the other lyrics are pretty spot on too. Why not give it a listen and see what you think?

Days Out · Life · Theatre Stuff

A day in Stratford.

In yesterday’s post I explained how I was planning on spending my day in Stratford. The shopping was decent, though my role in it was purely one of encouragement with a bit of window shopping as we went (I’m so ready to find someone willing to employ me in a full time role so I have money for nice things).

The Mop Fair it turns out is simply a large funfair that takes over a number of the town centre streets. It is incredibly noisy, blocks the view from the street so it’s hard to spot where the shop you’re looking for is, and seemed to be causing lots of disruption for little gain – with the exception of a few children’s rides and the dodgems we didn’t really see anyone taking advantage of the rides on offer.

imageThe whole reason for going to Stratford was to see Richard II at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Last night was the last of three preview nights and it was an almost entirely packed out theatre. We sat in the circle for the first time, having previously watched a few productions from the stalls. It was also the first time we’d sat on the side, we were actually in the seats closest to the stage – for some sequences they used a gantry that ran from the side of us across the stage to the other side of the audience giving us one of the best views in the house.

The cast was, in general, strong with new and experienced company members alike. Sadly the actor playing the somewhat pivotal role of Bolingbroke was not as strong as the rest of the cast, this proved quite a disappointment. David Tennant in the role of Richard II did however completely satisfy, having previously seen him as Hamlet and Benedick we had been looking forward to seeing him in another Shakespearean role. His take was entirely convincing and provided a really nice contrast to Ben Whishaw’s BAFTA winning performance in last year’s The Hollow Crown season.

The whole day was lovely, and punctuated by regular stops for delicious food. A very nice way to spend a Saturday.

Life · Theatre Stuff

Autism friendly theatre.

One of the things I love about the Internet is that sense of serendipity you get when over a short period of time you read different things in different places by different people and they all link together and build on each other.

Yesterday I read this article from The Stage about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time holding a “relaxed performance” this summer, geared up to meeting the needs of families with children with autistic spectrum conditions, and other sensory difficulties. This sounded like such a brilliant idea to me, and just knowing it existed made me happy. When I tweeted a link to the article a friend told me more about the project, currently in its pilot phase. I did a bit of searching and read more about the various theatres that are taking part in it.

This lunchtime I saw another friend tweet a link to this blogpost from Through Accepting Limits blog. This is a post by a parent of a child on the autistic spectrum about their family trip to see an autism-friendly performance of The Lion King. It’s a wonderful, moving read, and to me it just perfectly finished my experience discovering one way theatres are working to become more accessible.