Back on April 2002 (gosh already 5 years ago!), me and some friends of mine, we decided to do a so called musical tour de force in London, i.e., go to London and see as many musicals as possible. In particular we stayed in London 3 whole days, and some of us managed to attend 5 musicals :-)
Since we had to save money for the musicals we decided to stay at a hostel near the British museum: here's a morning photo of a musical day. Here's a photo of my mates for those wonderful days.
The tour started on thursday with a matinée of Les Miserables! What a musical, what a cast... what everything :-) but this is quite usual of West End musicals: you get astonished by the great shows, the great live performed music, the great voices. But Les Miserables also has a great score so it was a good way of starting our musical journey :-)
Here you can see some shots before and after the show.
The typical safety curtain during the break (with the logo of the show). And the orchestra! Yes, in London all the music is always performed live... In Italy almost never :-(
And also the goodbye of the cast.
The show has been running for 20 years now! No surprise it's still running.
As I said, besides the songs, also the show is astonishing, and everyone that saw that has always told me it's an amazing experience.
Well, yes, the show might be a little bit long, but you'll enjoy every minute!
That very evening, we then went to Mamma Mia! The songs of this show are the most famous ABBA songs. And the story is a kind of funny comedy. Since I love ABBA music, I had no doubt I'd enjoy the music of this musical. But you'll also have a lot of fun and you'll laugh a lot, since the comedy is really funny. Well... actually... we didn't get all the jokes, and it was kind of frustrating not laughing when all the audience was laughing, but it was funny anyway ;-)
Here you can see a shot of the stage with the safety curtain.
The next day, Friday, there were no matinées, so we spent the morning at Camden town (yes we did also some sightseeing in those days)...
But the evening we enjoyed another magical experience... Cats! The show was closing that very may so we were very lucky to see it before it closed (after more than 20 years!). Well, I had already seen that show in London in 2000, but each time it's magic!
The cast and the stage, besides music of course, make Cats one of the best musicals ever, and if you had a chance to see it you'll agree I guess. We had good sits (well, also very expensive sits :-) so we could see every bits of the show.
The cast consists not only of great singers and dancers but also of acrobats (e.g., Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer): seeing them sing while they dance that way is almost unbelievable!
Their make up is perfect (how long will it take to get that make up done?!) and they actually act like real cats...
It's a pity Cats closed in London... I hope it will reopen again :-)
On Saturday, as far as I know, all the West End musicals have a matinée and we decided to go and see the musical Taboo written by Boy George. Another funny show (well, no competition with the classical West End musicals, but still worth it!).
It's an autobiographic musical so there are many sad moments, but you'll also laugh a lot thanks to some characters and to their sketches that also involve the audience... also in this case, to fully enjoy all the jokes you need to be English, so we missed some of them (and luckily we were not involved in any direct jokes :-)
The audience is involved in the show also thanks to the stage and the theater itself... well, actually is not a real theater, as you can see from these photos. Indeed it's quite a small place but this lets you enjoy the show better since most sits were good sits.
You feel like you're part of the show! Another funny thing, that involves you in the show, is also the fact that the bar on the right side of the stage you can see in this last shot is actually part of the show itself, but you can drink there during the break :-)
Summarizing, I can't say it's the best show I've ever seen, but I truly enjoyed it. By the way, the songs of the show are not Culture Club's songs (in spite of a little part of Do you really want to hurt me and the final encore Karma Chameleon): they are brand new songs written for the show.
Alas, that was our last evening in the West End, and we couldn't choose a better final show than The Phantom of the Opera. That was the second time I saw that show in the West End, but, again, I enjoyed it anyway. Actually we did not have very good sits (well, they were quite bad indeed, since we were very far and the left corner of the stage was almost completely hidden to us. But we had a real good time anyway.
For those who, like me, love musicals, I guess there's no place like West End :-)
Of course, to fully enjoy musicals, it's better to be in good company and I cannot but thank my wonderful friends for this!
This last photo was shot by Alessia, who also shared with me the record setting of 5 musicals in 3 days! :-)