This month I am writing about all of my favourite London memories to celebrate my five year London anniversary. One of the things I love most about living in London is all of the West End theatre shows that are on offer, coming from New Zealand where we may be lucky to have a couple of shows a year come into town I was overwhelmed with the choices.
So looking back on my five years in London I have been very lucky to attend many of the best West End theatre shows. Here is a low down of the great shows I have seen.
Funniest show: One man, two Guvnors
Hands down one of the funniest and most entertaining shows I have ever seen. This comedy was laugh out loud from start to finish. The story is fairly straight forward, there is a guy trying to make an extra buck by being a gunvor for two different guys – cue loads of running around and hilarious moments. There was audience participation and even when they main character fluffed his lines because he was laughing so much himself I still thought it was one of the best shows. Big call I know but it’s one that I stand by. If it came back to London I wouldn’t hesitate to go and see it again it was that good!
Best celebrity show: The Sunshine Boys & Fatal Attraction
The sunshine boys played at The Savoy for a short time in 2013. I made a huge mistake by booking the tickets for the weekend after we turned up (with my in-laws) but thank goodness there were still tickets and we ended up getting better seats for the same price. The two actors in this show were Danny Devito and Richard Griffiths. This was Richard Griffiths last show before he passed away shortly after. I feel really lucky to have seen these two incredible actors on stage and I even got to see Danny just before the show, he strolled past me in the bar about 10 minutes before curtain. I can confirm he is the same height as me!
Fatal attraction played for a limited time in London last summer and I went to see it purely because I love the TV show Californication and Natascha McElhone was playing the main character so I just had to see her in it. It was just like the film and quite scary how well she played a stalker and a total bonus was that Kristin David (Charlotte from Sex and the City) was also in it.
Best set: The Wizard of Oz
This was only on the West End for a short time but after being recommended by a friend I booked tickets. This show was so true to the film and the songs were of course amazing, they had a little twist on ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ and it was just magical. Without doubt the best part of the show was the dazzling set. It was minimal but so effective and shiny, I love shiny.
Most expensive ticket: The Book of Mormon
This west end theatre show is one of the most popular ones out there at the moment, hence why they can charge £80 for a standard ticket. I went with my sister and some friends last summer and it totally did live up to the hype (thank goodness). From the creators of South Park, this crude comedy is not one for the faint hearted or easily offended. It was funny yes, the songs were brilliant but I did leave thinking it was good but not great.
Cheapest ticket: Priscilla Queen of the Desert & The Ladykillers
My very first West End theatre show was Priscilla Queen of the Desert. I bought tickets for myself and Dan not long after we started going out, I got the tickets for £10 from last minute and couldn’t believe my luck, well until I arrived at my seat and then I knew why. I was literally in the rafters, I had to sit on the edge of my seat and peer over the top but it was my first ever show and the excitement of being in a grand theatre watching Priscilla was totally worth it. I can’t believe how young we look in this photo, it was only four years ago!
My next £10 ticket was the total opposite, I managed to get front row seats for £10 to see The Ladykillers. This was a dark comedy, with brilliant sets and a few famous faces. How did I get those tickets you ask? Just turn up at the box office earlier in the day and see what tickets are floating about.
Front row seats: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
I recently went to see this west end theatre show at the Savoy Theatre. I scored front row seats by booking through my taste card. They were still a bargain at £35. The show was brilliant, really witty and gorgeous costumes. Although I was slightly disappointed as all actors who were advertised to be in it didn’t appear that evening and there was no prior warning. I almost felt like complaining but the show was so good regardless it didn’t even matter.
Other West end theatre I have seen
I went to see this one with my friends who were over from New Zealand a couple of years ago and I was really impressed, especially with the costumes and how they hadn’t changed to music so my friend and I could sing along to it word for word. If you do get a chance to go it is worth it and definitely worth the hype.
As a major Spice Girls fan this show was a must do for me and my girlfriends. Yes the reviews were bad, yes they were kind of deserved but I still enjoyed the show, I still loved the Spice Girls songs and yes I was gutted to hear it had been canned after just a few months. I wasn’t surprised though, I went to see it a few weeks after it opened and there were plenty of empty seats.
Shakespeare in Love
This was the most recent play I saw and very much enjoyed it, even though I haven’t seen the film. It was funny, had great Tudor music (it wasn’t a musical) and some very talented actors. I do feel there was way too much of the actual Romeo and Juliet play in it but besides that it was like all theatre nights, a great night out.
I am booked to go and see Wicked in June with some girlfriends which has been on my list for ages and The Mentalist with the hilarious Stephen Merchant in July.
My West End theatre wish list:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
What is the best West End Theatre show you have seen? Can you recommend any to me?