November 26, 2018

A Month of Theatre in London

I’m sitting on the plane heading across the Atlantic for another season heading up the activities entertainment. I only had a short break from work this time – I had a month at home following a five month stint at sea on the Navigator of the Seas.

I managed to pack in a good few shows whilst in London though.

Within my first week of landing back at home in London, I went to see Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre, opposite Foyles bookshop. Whilst I knew the music, I had never seen Chicago and had no idea of how it is staged.

The first thing that struck me was how small the set was; there’s no glitz and glamour in how the show is presented. The show itself was brilliant. The Cell Block Tango dance, in particular, sticks in my memory.

No sooner did a day go past than I surprised myself with another theatre trip! An off-the-cuff, totally spontaneous night at the Theatre Royal Haymarket with a friend to see Heathers – The Musical.

Well, my my my! I’d not watched the film that the musical is based on so had no knowledge of the storyline, or indeed the cult following, of this 1980s comedy.

I’ve settled on the description of ‘Mean Girls on crack’ for those who ask me what Heathers is like. It was funny, disturbing and lively. It was nice to be in a theatre full of young people.

A couple weeks away from London meant a two week hiatus from my theatre fix. But upon my return I managed to fit in two final theatre pit stops.

Sondheim’s Company at the Geilgud Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue is a brilliant production. I’m too young to have seen the original, so the gender-swapping had no impact on my appreciation of the show. From what I understand, changing the main character from a male Bobby to a female Bobbie hasn’t changed the storyline at all. I’d highly recommend this show.

Finally, last night, I went to the Menier Chocolate Factory to see Trevor Nunn’s revival of Fiddler on the Roof.

I’m not a huge fan of theatre in the round and this production is staged to three sides. At the beginning I was concerned that it would feel uncomfortable sitting so close to the audience members in the seating bank opposite. However, once the show started I totally lost myself in the story and was not distracted by the audience across the way from me.

It’s an extremely moving story and stresses the value of family and belonging. Well worth seeing if you can, especially as I believe it’s only doing a short run.

I’m now looking forward to four months of entertainment onboard the Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas, including our production of the classic musical Grease.

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