Another show, another blog post. Last weekend I popped down to London on the scorcher that was Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday to see a couple of shows, and a surprise flyover of the Red Arrows (it was a surprise me anyway). When I’m on my own for the weekend, it gives me something to do and honestly right now I’d rather spend my money on watching very talented people dance and sing in front of me than buy a new eyeshadow palette (apart from maybe Urban Decay Naked Heat – still got my eye on that one). My matinee choice was Dreamgirls, and for my evening show I decided that Half A Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre would be the one for me.
Since having a friend from my ballet classes attend Laine Theatre Arts, I’m always interested to see which stars of the West End also studied there. When I saw that Charlie Stemp, Olivier nominated and the real breakout star of the West End stage right now, also studied there around a similar time to my friend I knew I had to see the show. Not my usual choice in production on paper, but boy am I glad I went.
Arthur Kipps, an orphan living with his aunt and uncle, inherits a small fortune and climbs the social ladder (seemingly quickly, but there seems to be a few weeks between each scene). It’s a simply idea, but it’s works extremely well as a musical. Based on the novel Kipps by HG Wells, this musical has been revised since the 1963 London show and the 1967 film adaption. It’s British and charming and honestly, it’s just the sort of escapism I look for when I go to the theatre. Plenty of songs, wonderful choreography and a cast who are having the time of their lives. You could tell that the cast loved what they were doing and I honestly haven’t smiled that much at a musical in a really long time. It’s a real pleasure to watch!
I managed to pop by the stage door and the cast were so lovely, and it’s always nice to say well done in person rather than just over twitter. I did have a photo with Charlie but nobody needs to see it because it was a sweaty day and I look awful (the same way that nobody really needs to see the photo I took with Audra McDonald – google her – when I met her the same day). I will have a full post about my stage door tips coming in a few weeks so keep your eyes peeled!
Unfortunately Half A Sixpence is closing on the 2nd September, but I’m definitely going to try my hardest to see the show again before it does. Maybe even the final performance, as it’s always been a little theatre nerd dream of mine to see a show on opening night, closing night and maybe the odd final performance of a cast member if I’ve particularly enjoyed their portrayal. I can’t wait to see the stars of this show in action elsewhere, and you definitely need to get down to the Noel Coward to see Half A Sixpence at some point for its final few weeks!