Theatre I Enjoyed in April 2017

I didn’t get to all that much theatre in April, but I did see two plays, both of which I really enjoyed!

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, (Harold Pinter Theatre, 6 April)

I went to see Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Harold Pinter Theatre on 6 April. I was in the £15 restricted view seats, which, for anyone wondering, are definitely worth it if you want to go, but aren’t sure about spending at least double that, for the next cheapest seats… Yes, you can’t see the entire stage in one go, because of the safety barriers, but you can see everything you need to, and more! If you can afford the more expensive seats, they may be worth it, but I would recommend the cheap seats as definitely worth it: £15 for outstanding West End Theatre is a great deal.

For anyone who doesn’t know the play, the premise is a middle aged couple invite a young couple who have just moved to their town around after a party and as the four characters drink more and more they explore their respective relationship struggles and issues with child-bearing/raising. Imelda Staunton plays Martha, the wife in the older couple, and I read a review before going which said that the play was ‘the Imelda Staunton show’. While I can see where they were coming from: she was brilliant, I disagree: every member of the cast shone (including Staunton, obviously, who was wonderful). The play was moving, particularly at the end, which was heartbreaking (I won’t spoil it for you) and hilarious throughout. I particularly enjoyed the long exchange between George (Conleth Hill) and Nick (Luke Treadaway), in which they discussed George’s troubled relationship with his father-in-law and Nick’s marriage to his wife Honey (Imogen Poots).

A Chorus Line (Yellow Arch Studios, Sheffield)

I also went to see my brother in Easy Street Elite’s A Chorus Line at the Yellow Arch Studios on the 11th April. My biggest takeaway was that I don’t think much of A Chorus Line as a musical. The plot was essentially a group of adults auditioning for the chorus of a Broadway musical, and behaving like sulky teenagers while doing so. PSA: If you do ever audition for a Broadway show, refusing to dance if you get moved from the front row is a good way to get yourself thrown out of the room, and not how you get the job. That said, the company did the show very well, and the musical does have several very catchy songs, and good numbers! The whole cast were very strong: the singing was fantastic all around, and the dancing was great, particularly considering how many people were moving on a very small stage! I particularly enjoyed Harry Foster-Major’s ‘I can do that’. He apparently learned to tap dance just for this show, and hats off to him: he was a better tap dancer on three months rehearsal than I was after several years of lessons. I also loved Emma Nielsen’s ‘Nothing’ (and in fact her ‘What I did for Love’): she was an outstanding singer, with a great sense of comic timing. I had a good evening, and was really impressed by the performances, but it isn’t a show I’ll go see again.

(Basically, if you’re going to see a friend in it, and their company is good, you’ll enjoy it, and there’s no harm in buying the soundtrack, which is quite good, but, for my taste, if you’re going to see “something” in the West End or elsewhere, and you have a choice of production, I’d chose something else.)

That’s all for this week! Thank you as always for reading, please like the post if you enjoyed it! I’d love to hear if you’ve seen any good theatre this month/if there’s anything you’d recommend: please let me know in the comments. I’ll be back next week with my most memorable visits to the theatre and the best theatre I remember seeing; follow the blog if you haven’t already so you don’t miss it!

Emily xxx

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4 comments

  1. “that I don’t think much of A Chorus Line as a musical. ” Okay you just made an enemy!!! :O) I have seen “ACL” on stage 101 times and it never fails to move me. You, obviously miss the whole point of the show including that Sheila would feel exactly as she did when Val was moved to the front.
    This is a show about YOU going for interviews for a job–here it happens to be for the chorus in a show but it could be an interview where you are in competition for a job.
    In any case I’ll forgive you as with ‘almost’ 21 years under your belt going to shows versus my 76 years I can see where you are coming from. (Really you LIKED “Legally Blonde”?? LOL)
    If you couldn’t be moved by Paul’s soliloquy or be stunned by the 8 minutes Cassie takes command of the stage then it couldn’t have been a good cast though you say you were impressed by the performances
    PS What role did your brother play?
    PPS You might want to look up my “Why I saw “A Chorus Line” 101 times! LOL

    Like

    • I completely understand not everyone will have this perspective, and it’s great to hear varying viewpoints! For me, the overwhelming sense was of entitlement without even a willingness to try/sacrifice. It felt as though each character came to the audition expecting the best, without seeming to be willing even to try for it. I’ve been to job interviews, and I’m a good candidate in many cases. But I’ve never arrived expecting everything to be handed to me on a plate, and definitely not if I wasn’t even willing to work for it!! It wasn’t that I didn’t find moments very moving, more that they didn’t seem to be as important as the entitlement the characters showed. My brother played Al, I believe the character is called? The one who is married to the woman who can’t sing. I’ll definitely look into your post, thanks for leaving your thoughts!! Xxx

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