Monday, 20 January 2014

West End - Mysteries, Revolts, and Defying Gravity

The MousetrapSt Martin's Theatre

Les MiserablesQueen's Theatre

MatildaCambridge Theatre

WickedApollo Victoria Theatre

I dreamed a dream in time gone by... I was 13 or 14 when Mum first played the Les Miserables CD in the car and I instantly fell in love. So many other musicals followed after that. This was really the main reason why I was so excited about visiting London. We watched 3 musicals (Les Miserables, Matilda, Wicked) and 1 play (The Mousetrap) altogether. 

The Mousetrap was very enjoyable. I do love Agatha Christie mysteries, and so I loved this too - all the twists and funny moments. The theatre had a quiet old charm about it; it has been running for 62 years after all. The quaint mood fit the play quite perfectly, and the whole atmosphere was rather cosy.

Les Mis was the absolute dream. We had the fortune to enjoy a spectacular cast - Tam Mutu played Javert and Carrie Hope Fletcher played Eponine, and both were excellent. Tam Mutu might just be my favourite Javert ever - he completely blew me away. Powerful voice, powerful acting. Stars and Javert's Suicide were simply incredible. After the show, I ran to the stage door and managed to get some autographs, then we all headed back happily, singing Stars at the top of our voices. What a beautiful night that was. 

Matilda was excellent. I do believe Cambridge Theatre is very well-designed, so despite the fact that we'd gotten the cheapest seats, we had a pretty decent view. It was funny, the performances were very well executed, and it wasn't too kiddy so I still thoroughly enjoyed it, and I got When I Grow Up stuck in my head for the rest of the night. 

Wicked might have been a bit of a let-down for me. The whole watching-a-musical-in-West-End feel was still there of course, and the costumes were all beautiful. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the voice of this Fiyero at all - this made songs like As Long As You're Mine sound rather imbalanced. We had also gotten the cheapest seats for Wicked, but instead of getting the faraway cheap seats (like Matilda), we decided to try the close to the stage but restricted view cheap seats. The result of this was that most of the time, my view was blocked by this staircase, and I had to strain my head to the right, which did ruin the magic of the experience a tad. Of course, there are advantages to getting seats really near the stage, like getting to see the actors' faces up close, but I think I would rather get seats further away that give a view of the whole stage next time.

While booking tickets, I found this site (TheatreMonkey) rather useful. People who have previously sat in various seats give their reviews of the views of the stage so you know how to choose the best seats for your price range.

Getting there: (Click on the theatre links for detailed directions)
The MousetrapSt Martin's Theatre 
West Street, London, WC2H 9NZ
Nearest tube: Leicester Square (2min) or Covent Gardens (5min)

Les MiserablesQueen's Theatre 
51 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6BA
Nearest tube: Picadilly Circus (2min) or Leicester Square (5min)

Seven Dials, 32-34 Earlham Street, London, WC2H 9HU
Nearest tube: Covent Gardens (3min) or Leicester Square (4min)

17 Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1LG
Nearest tube: Victoria (2min)

Photos taken with Sony RX100 ii

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