One of my favourite things about being in London is the close proximity to its famous West End. If I ever had to see a show before it would have to be a proper, planned trip, and now I can just pop off half an hour and I’m there! I have seen three shows over the past three weeks that I have absolutely loved.
Les Miserables – The All Star Concert
When the All Star concert edition of Les Mis was announced I was so excited, and really lucky to get a ticket because it sold out really fast! I went to a Saturday matinee on 19th October, where I was lucky enough to see all of the All Star cast. They certainly did not disappoint!
I saw Carrie Hope Fletcher as Eponine back in 2015, and didn’t know how I would see Les Mis again without her in it, so I was overjoyed to see her in the cast, this time as Fantine. Now, I Dreamed A Dream is not my favourite Les Mis song (it has been a bit overdone, really), and yet this was the one I was absolutely bawling my eyes out over, Carrie was simply so good! I was trying to stop crying so I could see her properly but it was a struggle!
Alongside Carrie, the cast starred Alfie Boe as Valjean and Michael Ball as Javert and the pair were, as I expected, simply amazing – especially Alfie Boe, I don’t think anyone can do Bring Him Home as perfectly as him! Matt Lucas as Thenardier actually really surprised me vocally too.
As it is all sold out by now, I would seriously recommend going along to your local cinema for a screening of it on the 2nd of December, or get the DVD when it comes out early next year. I know I will be getting it so that I can experience it all over again!
Lungs, starring Claire Foy & Matt Smith
On the 5th November, the day before my birthday, I decided to treat myself to get a last minute ticket to the play Lungs, starring Claire Foy & Matt Smith, who I absolutely fell in love with the acting of in the series The Crown.
I got there early but didn’t realise you had to get a ticket from the cafe to enter the queue so I ended up nineteenth in the queue by accident! So, although the day seats had ran out by my turn, I managed to get a return seat in Row B of the dress circle which I was actually happier with – meant to be!
I returned a few hours later for the matinee of the play, featuring a couple debating starting a family in today’s climate, amongst other issues such as careers and aging. The production was so stripped back, just Matt and Claire on a simple stage, so it was up to them to sell the story and boy did they. It was such a contrast to where I had seen them before, in Netflix’s high budget drama, and I was amazed how they were just as moving on stage as on the screen.
Sadly as I post this, the run of Lungs at the Old Vic finished the day before, but I had to write about it to celebrate the talents of Matt and Claire if nothing else!
The first ever musical I went to see at the West End was Mary Poppins, when I was four years old, and for years now I have said I wish it could return so I could go again. This year I finally got my wish, as the musical made its West End return, coincidentally the year I came to uni here. It was a real treat to see it on my nineteenth birthday. We had wonderful seats, if you are visiting the Prince Edward theatre I would really recommend the Loge seats of the Dress Circle – when we sat down I honestly teared up with how good the view was and you have your own little row to yourself!
The production was truly incredible. It varies a lot to the film itself, which I remembered from when I was little and very confused, but this is a good thing because there are lots of fun new songs, as well as the classic favourites. I don’t know what it is about Feed The Birds but it really makes me cry! Step in Time was a real highlight for me, the choreography was insanely good.
However, the best part of the show had to be towards the end. My friend had told me the day before that when she was younger, her favourite part was when Mary Poppins flies over the audience – I couldn’t remember that and didn’t think it was even possible! But it truly was, and where I was sat she basically flies right towards us and was level with us at one point! The production of the show really is amazing, they put so much into it and I seriously recommend going down and seeing it.
I have another show to look forward to in a few weeks and may end up getting some rush tickets, so you never know, I might end up writing a similar post soon! Have you seen any shows lately? I would love any recommendations!