In this theatre blog, Mama Mia, Cirque Du Soleil and Only Fools and Horses.
I have had a great couple weeks out and about seeing theatre shows and events, both for pleasure and for work. It has reminded me just how much I enjoy live performance, over and above the cinema and it has nudged me to book more.
Back in the late 80’s one of my first jobs was working in a 24 hour call centre taking bookings for West End Shows. It was in the days long before the internet and I loved the job because ‘agents’ were always invited to previews of shows. I got to see nearly everything for very little money.
A couple of weeks ago I had a ‘reunion’ with some of the people I worked with back then, we had a great time reminiscing about the shifts that ended at 2am.
One of the reasons we got together was to go and see Mama Mia at the Novello Theatre as one of the old crowd, Ricky Butt, now plays Rosie.
I haven’t seen Mama Mia since it opened back in 1999 at the Prince of Wales. The intervening 19 years have been kind to the show and it has not dated at all. The production is smaller to fit the Novello, but it has not lost any of it’s charm or energy. I highly recommend this as a night out. I defy anyone not to be on their feet at the end of the evening.
Cirque Du Soleil
I was delighted to be invited to my old workplace the Royal Albert Hall for a presentation about Cirque Du Soleil, which is at the Hall January – February 2019 with TOTEM.
Cirque first came to the RAH in 1996 and I worked in the Box Office at that time. Nobody knew what to expect, Cirque had never performed in a fixed venue before. At first the tickets did not sell as the public did not know anything about it, but then some of the acts appeared on the Royal Variety Show and suddenly everyone wanted to be there and an extra two weeks of performance’s were added.
Twenty three years later Cirque at the Royal Albert Hall is still going strong and should not be missed. The combination of the skills of the acts with the stunning set, costumes, lighting and music is unique. The Hall lends itself perfectly to the performance with it’s oval shape just like a huge big top.
If you really want to make it a special night out then hospitality in one of the many boxes is the way to go. We have tried the food and it is delicious.
New Show on sale. Only Fools and Horses
You have probably seen in the press that Only Fools and Horses is coming to the stage as a musical. My initial reaction was ‘can’t they think of anything original for a show? ‘ There is a trend at the moment to turn movies into musicals, Pretty Woman, Kinky Boots etc, but then I stopped to think and realised that so many shows are based on other source material – West Side Story (Romeo and Juliet), Kiss me Kate (Taming of the Shrew), My Fair Lady (Pygmalion). So maybe I need to rethink my expectations.
Like most people I loved Only Fools, so I am interested to see how it translates to the stage. It is written by John Sullivan’s son Jim Sullivan who has teamed up Paul Whitehouse to write and produce a script and score to honour his father’s legacy. Paul Whitehouse is also appearing as Grandad, but they have cast two relative unknowns as Del Boy (Tom Bennett) and Rodney (Ryan Hutton), a move that I applaud.
I am planning on buying my tickets for Company at the Gielgud for as my November treat. Love a bit of Sondheim but I am reserving judgment on this production, where they Bobby is being played by a woman in a bit of gender reversal.