Sunday, 9 June 2013

Les Miserables - Queen's Theatre, London

In April, during Easter break, Jamie and I had a day out in London and more of the daytime in a later blog (Tate Modern, Lichtenstein Retrospective and a yummy late lunch) but in the evening we headed to The Queen's Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue (just off Leicester Square and slap bang in the middle of China town - if you are heading that way there are loads of Chinese restaurants doing buffet meals for great prices (for London) near all of the theatres).  We had been lucky and had great weather until we reached Leicester Square when it began raining so we headed to Costa for a quick coffee until the doors opened. 

Les Mis has been my own favourite musical for some considerable time and saw it in London at least 14 years ago as it was LBJ (life before Jamie) when Mike fell asleep! (Rolls my eyes skyward!).  Jamie has become addicted since seeing the film (which we have seen a couple of times at the cinema and a couple now the DVD has arrived!!).  Jamie was uber uber excited and once doors opened we headed straight into the queue for memorabilia where Jamie was eager to get his hands on a hot chocolate mug and we got a poster and couple of other bits.

Word of warning - if you are in upper seating try to go to the loo before you get up there as there is limited toilet facilities higher up but other than that we had a great view of the stage from our seats.

What can you say about Les Mis - the music is the best bit, the tunes themselves can have me a quivering wreck, the lyrics are amazing, and the dramatisation is brilliant.  The whole performance was wonderful, no real names in it but it didn't matter a jot, well one an actor from Coronation Street who was playing Madame Thenadier.  The real joy of the whole evening for me, outside of seeing the wonderful musical again was to see Jamie's reactions at certain points, when he saw how they dramatised certain parts of the story, such as One Day More and Javert's Suicide, I was watching his reaction and he was enthralled throughout.

One of the best bits was getting near the end was to hear all of the sniffing of people trying to hold it together, they didn't and neither did we, a lady behind us pointed out that my face was covered in mascara but who cared it was fantastic.  Jamie loved it, he got out of the show everything that I had hoped he would and what a wonderful day and evening we had had - a total joyful experience.

Expensive - yes but worth every single penny!!

Reading challenge 4/20 - currently reading on Kindle TBC and in print TBC, War and Peace stalled at 10%

The Woman in Black - MK Theatre

Beware spoilers!

It has been quite some time but more of that in a subsequent blog .......  Jamie got the opportunity to see The Woman in Black with his drama group, which left me a little put out, as we had planned to see it ourselves.  So rather than miss out, and be running backwards and forwards to the theatre in Mum's taxi, I got myself a ticket and watched it too, although well away from Jamie and his drama group, much to eveyone's relief!!

Having read the book and watched the film, seeing how they were going to interpret the book on stage was intriguing, especially as it turned out there were only two actors in the production (well 3 if you count the WiB herself).  Sadly as with midweek regional theatre the theatre itself was well over half empty and with tickets at £30 for the circle maybe it would make good business sense to reduce the cost of tickets to try to attract more bums on seats.

Overall it was an enjoyable evening, and the story is retold via Arthur Kipps getting some help from an actor to learn how to tell his story to his family in his later years.  The actor guides him through retelling his story and the two characters replay the vital moments from the story and they did it well.  All of the atmosphere is built from the interaction of the actors, sound, lighting and menace that is built up.  There are one or two moments which make you jump in the production and it was a faithful retelling of the book- more so than the film especially with the ending of the play which sends you hope with just a little feeling of unease at the possible prospect of seeing the WiB. 

Sue Reading challenge 4/20 - currently reading on Kindle Tower of TBC and in print TBC/War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy stalled at 10%
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