Thought I’d give you a quite run down of the West End shows we’ve seen so far in London:
Les Miserable – Classic, a must-see if you haven’t seen it. It’s been showing for 30 years in the West End, so that’s a definite clue to its success. Because it’s been running for so long, you have a good chance of getting cheaper tickets since a lot of people have seen it by now.
We Will Rock You – Great excuse to listen to music from Queen if you are a fan. Fantastic singing, strong voices all round. But I like a couple of Queen songs and the rest I didn’t recognise. They also strung the music around a very bad story line written by Ben Elton, and I’m afraid this script hasn’t increased my respect of him as a writer or a comedian. The script/play component of the production was very boring, and juvenile in its humor. Admittedly, I was terribly jet lagged during the show, and I managed to sleep despite all the very loud singing.
Phantom of the Opera – This is a must-see if you haven’t seen. Get good seats close to the centre. Great story and music from Andrew Lloyd Webber and excellent set changes. You want to see it just for the creative theatre set changes, and music of course. Fabulous.
Waiting for Godot – I thoroughly enjoyed this play by Samuel Beckett. Mind you, my version had Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart in it, 2 of my favourite actors. Waiting for Godot is not for everybody, but if you persist, I think you will get the meaninglessness of the play.
The Lion King – It was my second time see The Lion King when I saw it at West End. I brought my son, who has never seen it before. Lovely. But for my buck, I thought it was poor. Give it a miss if you have a different show of choice. But if you have children in the group, this is a good option for them.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – This was a West End play with James Earl Jones. It was very good also, but is more a adult play. We had our child there, and though he enjoyed bits of it, found the play overall boring. Not quite for children, but then we didn’t have baby sitting options, so had to drag him along.
Wicked – This is just wicked. Must watch, funny play, great music. The singers/actors we had were marvellous. Again, get good seats if you can.
Ghost Stories – Pure rubbish. Avoid like the plague. This show sells itself on pure marketing hype. The hype is that it will really scare you. Well, yes, if you get scared by sudden sounds and lights, then maybe. The problem with the hype is that it attracts people like me who go, ‘Okay, let’s see what you have to offer. Scare me.’ Way not scary at all, play was … a bit twisted, but it really isn’t scary. Not after you’ve watched things like The Sixth Sense, and The Others. Honestly, don’t waste your money.
Oliver – We enjoyed Oliver, though we didn’t have as great seats. We were given side seats. Whilst we could still see the action, we lost some of the effects of the perspectives in the sets. So I would say get centre seats where possible. Musical was thoroughly enjoyable, and the little Olivers and children are fantastic. Musical felt a tad bit long, though I’m not sure whether it’s because I’ve seen the TV version of Oliver before. I still enjoyed it.
The Journey’s End – This was a West End play that showed in Richmond theatre. It was very good. See separate write up I did on this. Must-see. If you have children from about 10 years old, I think they will enjoy this also. It gives a flavour of the war and the theatrical effects are very good.
Thriller Live – Fabulous. And to be honest, we enjoyed it much more than Oliver, we decided on the way home afterwards. Uplifting, simple, and it’s only about the music and dance moves. This is a must-see.