Broadening musical horizons

Sunday evening I really enjoyed watching a compilation programme on BBC1 of highlights from stage musicals, Musicals: The Greatest Show, which was immediately followed by the O2 staged 25th anniversary production of Les Miserables, a show that we’ve seen in the West End, and one of the few that I have the soundtrack for downloaded on my music player.

Cast members from several West End shows like Wicked, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Hairspray, Six and others, sang iconic songs from the shows.  And I knew the words to pretty much all of them.  We’ve had a family tradition for many years now of going to see a West End show during the Christmas period, so have seen a fair few of the offerings. 

I do like a good belter of a song, or one that is really catchy and sing-a-long-able.  Even if I don’t know the words, I know the tune and was humming, whistling or making some random noises along to (probably to the annoyance of C).  There were some spectacular performances that really got the hair on the back of your neck standing up.

The Les Miserables performance was exceptional.  They’d make some adjustments to the performance to account for it being at the O2, but nothing of the drama was lost.  At the end they had all 4 performers who had played Jean Val Jean singing together, which was actually pretty awesome.  To be honest, I can’t remember which one of them played him when we went to see it, without digging the programme out, it was a few years ago now.

The last musical we went to see was Six, the stories of Henry VIII’s wives, factually correct but with a bit of a modern spin on the delivery.  It was more like going to a rock concert than a theatre show, especially at the end when they encouraged everyone to get up on the their feet and dance, and get their phones out to record it. 

We really have missed out on some spectacular theatre over this last year but I’m pleased that shows like the Musicals: The Greatest Show may have reached a new audience and enthused more of us to partake when we are able.

We do currently have tickets for Sister Act in August, featuring Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Saunders, which was postponed from last year, so fingers cross that goes ahead.  I will look forward to visiting the West End again and having a good old sing along.


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