One of the most exciting days in the West End Theatre calendar is just three weeks away and we’ve been spoiled. Today, the line-up for West End LIVE 2018 has been announced and it’s a pretty good one, even if I do say so myself. Seriously, this is a date you’ve got to put in your diary!
It’s been the talk of the town since Hamilton hit the London theatre scene that West End theatre prices are going through the roof. Tickets are selling for £250 apiece, which is unheard of in London (and funny really since it’s not a cheap city) and the likes of Chess and The King And I aren’t far behind! But on the other end of the spectrum, touring companies are failing. You’d think that productions right on people’s door steps would be sell-outs, and whilst some are, other shows play to half-empty theatres night after night.
I loved Tina The Musical when I went last month. Unfortunately the performances was overshadowed by an unruly audience, as is the case in most jukebox musicals, and I wanted to get my thoughts down on paper about it. As much as you can call this blog ‘paper’.
Immersive theatre doesn’t sit well with me a lot of the time. Whilst I always want to be as involved in the show as I can be, I want the fourth wall to stay very firmly up in a sense that I don’t want to be part of the production. Apart from when I got to sing ‘Ride Sally Ride’ into the microphone that Killian Donnelly thrust in my face during Mustang Sally at the end of The Commitments. I was very much okay when it came to being that close to the newly announced touring Jean Valjean in Les Mis. It put me off seeing Trainspotting as I’d heard bizarre things about it, but there was something about Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre that intrigued me. Immersive Shakespeare seemed like something I had to learn a little more about.
I don’t need to tell you that I love the theatre, but until recently I’ve only gone to shows. But I was having a conversation with Aeron recently, and we realised that what the West End is missing is the real feel of community and fandom that Broadway has. They’ve got Broadway Con, Schmackery’s, Broadway Flea Market and their shows are always featured on television shows throughout the day. But the West End is slowly getting there, with the likes of The Theatre Cafe, West End Live and the concert series that are popping up all over the place. Seriously, I think most Sundays this month there has been something for theatre lovers to attend. And one of those concerts was West End Live Lounge.
It was a last minute decision to go to West End Does The Magic Of Animation at Cadagon Hall last Sunday, but since it was announced I’d been interested. Celebrating the music of Disney and other animated favourites, nine West End stars gathered to sing the hits from classic films such as The Little Mermaid and Hercules, and more recent favourites including Frozen and Moana.