Monday, 29 April 2013

A Theatrical Week...

Hi everyone!

I know I've been very absent lately but I've just started back at uni and it's all got very manic! Last week however I did get the chance to go and see a couple of shows.

On Wednesday I was able to go and see Billy Elliot which has been on my wish list for a good number of years now and front row tickets for £20 was an offer that just could not be missed! I saw it at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London.
In short the show was incredible. Beautiful performances from especially from Tade Biesinger (Billy) and Deka Walmsly (Dad) and a very short yet incredibly moving performance from Kay Milbourne who played Billy's dead mother. It was one of those musicals that can make you cry with laughter and then fill with sadness in the space of 5 minutes. The hilarious performance of 'Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher', a song arguably in bad taste, is one of the best things I have ever seen. 'Electricity' by Billy and 'The Letter' by Billy, his Mum and Mrs. Wilkinson, the dance teacher were both wonderfully powerful and beautifully performed. Although it has to be said that 'He Could be a Star' performed by Billy's Dad, was one of the most heart renching things I have ever seen. Walmsly performed with such emotion and the principle of the song is stunning. He is giving up on the infamous miners strike which he pioneered in order to provide Billy with the brightest dancing career he can possibly have and the way, by the end the rest of the miners agree to help him. I was nearly in tears and I don't cry easily. Not my favourite song of the musical but certainly my favourite performance.
Give it a listen:


The second show I saw was on Thursday and was Cider With Rosie at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford. This had a small cast of only 9 and explored the life from childhood to adulthood of one character in a Cotswold's village. Scenically it was very innovative and clever but also fairly minimal and unchanging. There was great use of an overhead projection screen which was the main visual clue that time had passed and seasons had changed. In terms of plot, not much really happened but I don't think that really mattered as it wasn't about a big fancy plot line, it was just an insight into this mans life. It was able to make me feel like I was there in the Cotswolds living that life too. There was a large amount of multi-rolling which can sometimes grow confusing but that wasn't the case with this show. It was clear with only the addition or removal of a couple of items of costume or props that an actor had changed characters. The actors ability to change characters so seamlessly is a real testament to their talent as it genuinely felt like, due to physicality and voice changes, the cast was larger than just the 9 main characters. Although it would have been nice if the show could have focused more on his relationship with Rosie as there is only one scene that gives the show it's name. Unfortunately the show has now stopped touring so there are no more opportunities to see it as far as I know. It was different and I'm glad I saw it, it wasn't necessarily a play I would put on a wish list, unlike Billy Elliot but it was worth the trip.

If you would like a more detailed and professional review then here's a link to what The Stage thought:

If you would like to visit the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, here is the website:
They've just launched a £5 ticket offer on Thursdays for those between 16 and 30 so get registered!

Have you seen either of these shows? Have you seen any other wonderful shows lately and have a recommendation? I would love to hear from you. I will be blogging again soon with something a little less theatrical I promise!

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