Tuesday, 10 December 2013

All the world's a stage, What to see this month - Part II : LOCAL LOVES

Oh gang, I'm sorry - I've been a rubbish blogger! I seem to have been ridiculously busy the past few weeks doing very dull stuff that just isn't worth blogging about...especially not my dentist appointment or that night I made my sister cook me supper.

But fear not, I have been to theatre! So here we have Part II of....


And this month we have a right mixed bag - a West End powerhouse, some fringe theatre and a teeny tiny studio production. Shall we start with the biggest one first?


Once is a musical, but you could almost call it the 'anti-musical' as it's the most low-key, understated show in London's glittering West End. Set in a Dublin bar, it's a beautifully simple love story between a local lad and a Czech girl struggling in the Irish Republic capital, bound by a love for music. 

The show is a huuuuge hit on Broadway where it opened a couple of years ago and has made a seamless transition over to London, opening about six months ago and wowing the crowds ever since. The music is fantastically folksy, slightly Mumford & Sons-esque - I actually have it on my iPhone and play it as a normal person on the bus, not a West End Wannabe like I do with other show soundtracks....!

This is a show for people who are looking for something heartfelt and earnest. All the music is played live on stage by the cast, the blooming ridiculously talented cast, and it's simply brill to see them play.

But, there's one fabulous bit about this show that you just HAVE to experience....the bar on stage is a real working bar!! So get there early enough and you can go up on to the stage and buy a pint whilst the cast come out and play some rowdy jigs! WARNING: It's hard not to get swept away...I accidentally got caught up in the pre-show performance and ended up surrounded by the gorgeous guys and their guitars, singing my heart out/guessing the words and shouting along. Cracking stuff.

WHAT: Once
WHERE: Phoenix Theatre, Charing Cross Road
WHO: Everyone really! Couples will love it. Go if you want to see some top class musicality mixed in with a big dollop of honest love. Also go if you like pints.
TUBE: Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road
DATES: Forever! There's no end in sight for this show but tickets are currently on sale until the end of May 2014.


This musical really packs a punch - based on a true story, The Scottsboro Boys presents the terrible trait of nine black boys wrongly accused of the rape of two white girls on a train travelling through Southern America. Not exactly the plot you'd expect to be told through a vaudevillian style musical!

It is at the Young Vic Theatre, which is one of my favourite theatres in London - they produce some really cutting edge stuff and it's just so effortlessly cool there. Definitely a place to pop into just for a drink.

The show is extremely high quality and the cast is stonkingly strong - they're all singing, all dancing stage gods really. At one hour and fifty minutes long without an interval the cast are going full pelt the entire time. Their stamina alone is seriously impressive.

Incredibly powerful and heartbreaking, at the same time as being hilarious and overly silly this really is the show to see at the moment outside the West End.

WHAT: The Scottsboro Boys
WHERE The Old Vic, The Cut
WHO: Anyone who values quality theatre, especially fans of To Kill A Mockingbird.
TUBE: Waterloo or Southwark
TICKETS: Only 'day seats' are left for this one - you'll have seen in my first theatre blog I explained that these are tickets that only get released on the day of the performance and must be bought in person. Queueing starts pretty early so get yourself down there with your camping stool.
DATES: There really isn't long left on this one - last performance is 21st December.


This show is excellent. No it's SUPERCALIFRAGILISTIC and you certainly don't need a spoonful of sugar to help it go down. Based on the life of the wonderful Julie Andrews, this one woman show is a cheeky cabaret of mountain climbing, chimney sweeping, nazi escaping joy. Absolute joy.

Staged in the brilliantly intimate Trafalgar Studio 2 it is bloody good fun. Andrews mega fan, Sarah-Louise Young, has lovingly constructed this ode to Julie and it's even better than it was when it was first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in August.

Young takes the audience on a journey through Julie's life, the early discovery of her magnificent voice, her success in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, weaving through the difficult years of failing relationships and a difficulty to break the mold, right up to the devastating loss of her voice. Interspersing the story with songs Young has a brill voice and does a mean impression of not only Julie but also Liza Minnelli and Audrey Hepburn. She's one funny lady.

She got some cracking reviews that are well worth a read - take a look at The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and The Evening Standard.

And do you want to know the best bit? THERE IS A SINGALONG AT THE END!! It's impossible to leave the show without a huge grin on your face. And the girl mentioned at the end of the Telegraph review? That's my gorgeous friend Annie! She's pretty much famous now....

WHAT: Julie Madly Deeply
WHERE:Trafalgar Studios, Whitehall
WHO: Anyone who's ever watched a Julie Andrews film. So basically everyone.
TUBE: Charing Cross or Embankment
DATES: The final performances is 12th Jan...go, go, go!