Wednesday, 27 August 2008

West End Theatre Reviews, London

It seems that everybody I know is planning to go or has recently been to the theatre in London. I admit I am rather jealous as, since my wonderful trip to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to see “King Lear” in April, I’ve been unable to see another play or show. I love the bright lights and the excitement of the West End but, unfortunately, my recurring back problem prevents me from sitting for any length of time so the theatre and the cinema are, sadly, complete no-no’s at the moment!

However, the West End has been full to bursting with fantastic shows this summer and it would seem wrong not to mention some on this blog. I have asked friends and family to write me a few lines about the shows they have been to see recently so I can, at least, give you some sort of reviews to help you consider your options. Over the coming weeks I will share their thoughts and opinions about some of the hottest shows in town. Next week I am having some major treatment on my back so, with any luck I will soon be able to share my own thoughts on West End shows too!

Just this last weekend Nephew no.3 (N#3) had his 11th birthday treat from my Mum – his first trip to a London theatre. We had long discussions about which show to take him to and which he would enjoy best. Like many kids his age he is a massive “High School Musical” fan and, with the stage version having a limited run in the West End, this seemed like the obvious choice. However, nephew no.3 is a very literal and intense young man and I think he would have been disappointed not to see the original Disney film/TV actors to appear on stage. He also knows the films off by heart, word for word and almost certainly would not have accepted any script deviations! So that was one off the list! Our next thought was Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s “Joseph” starring Lee Mead (right), the winner of BBC’s “Any Dream Will Do”. This, I think, would have been the perfect show for N#3 who followed the TV competition with gusto. But, my Mum has seen the show several times over the years (with Jason Donovan and Philip Schofield among others in the title role) and really did not want to see it again. For similar reasons “Grease” also would have been a suitably familiar show for N#3 to see but, I have seen it twice before and the stage version will never, ever live up to the classic film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John!

So, which show cost £60 for the best seats in the stalls and gave my nephew his first, thrilling West End theatre experience? You’ll have to wait for the big reveal later this week!

But I must just mention that if you are looking for bargain theatre tickets in London then you have a couple of choices. You can take a risk, on the day, and visit the cut price theatre ticket kiosk in Leicester Square. This is great if you don’t mind which show you see but not much use if you have your heart set on seeing one of the more popular shows. If you want a guaranteed ticket for your show of choice then visit the London Pass website where they have special offers on loads of West End theatre plays and musicals. This ensures you have your theatre trip booked before you arrive in London, don’t need to queue for tickets and you get a discount! Another little hidden gem from the people at London Pass – is there no end to their offers?!

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