I’m a big fan of the theatre and heard on the radio that tourists visiting the theatre are currently making a huge contribution to the British economy, which shows that I am not alone.
As much as I love popular modern classics such as Les Miserables (one of the first shows I saw and fell in love with), I think it is a shame that some of the lesser known shows just don’t get the same level of publicity. Most people know what they’re getting with Les Mis now – it is always fantastic and I never fail to enjoy it. But I also think there is nothing like a bit of a change and a nice surprise. I love it when I have no expectations of a show, and it ends up being outstanding. I have now become quite a regular at the theatre and I’ve expanded my horizons quite a lot with the hope of being pleasantly surprised more often. As such I thought it would be quite nice to share two of my favourites from the past year.
Theatre Royal Haymarket/ Menier Chocolate Factory. (closed November 2010)
Sweet Charity has some great music and iconic dance routines, but I don’t hear of many productions of the show. I heard somewhere that tickets are always a hard sell for Charity, so this may explain it.
I am very familiar with the soundtrack, and songs such as “The Rhythm of Life” and “If My Friends Could See Me Now” are some of my favourites in musical theatre, but as I have never seen a production of the show or the film, I went feeling a little anxious of whether I would enjoy it. It could have been a massive disappointment. In fact it was one of the best productions I’ve seen in a while. The cast was brilliant, particularly Tamsin Outwaite as a sunny and likeable Charity. All the performances were perfect, and the choreography and dancing was also outstanding.
It’s a shame that this show has now closed as it was so enjoyable, but I’ll definitely consider seeing other Menier productions based on the quality of this one.
UK Tour (seen at Manchester Opera House, July 2010)
This is a prime example of a show that I wasn’t expecting much of. I expected Monty Python jokes, silly, nonsensical humour and vague links to the Camelot and Holy Grail stories. I got all this, but I wasn’t expecting the fantastic music! The songs were so good that I actually bought the soundtrack the same week.
I loved this show, and would highly recommend it to anyone! It was hilarious, energetic, full of brilliant performances, and I didn’t even mind that the guy sat next to me was a Python fan who knew all the words and was speaking along with the script. (Ok I minded a little, but it didn’t detract from how fantastic the show was).
I’ve have just heard that Spamalot is coming back to Manchester in February 2011, so I’ll definitely be getting tickets.