Sunday, 22 May 2011

In Which I Go to the Theatre

A self-proffessed theatre lover, my first encounter was at the ripe ole age of eight during a family trip to London.

All dolled up by my mother and father, we ate a choice picnic of MackyDees and followed it up with a matinee of Les Miserables chased with 'a show about cats…' in which I fell in love with the Rum Tum Tugger & the Magical Mr. Mistoffelees


Since then, notches on my poster board have been etched for:

- Phantom of the Opera (twice)

- West Side Story

- Billy Elliot

- Wicked

- Rocky Horror (with Steve Pemberton- of League of Gentlemen fame- as the narrator)

- Little Shop of Horrors

- Blood Brothers (twice - Come on, there was a Spice Girl in it!)

- Spring Awakening (a guilty pleasure)

- Les Mis (a further three times & favourite by a landslide)

…just to mention a few.


This month has caught me attending the theatre twice: Firstly to Matthew Bourne's Cinderella, secondly to Cameron Mackintosh's Betty Blue Eyes.


Cinderella


Mum-in-Law bluebirdcage first introduced me to Matthew Bourne (most famous for his all male Swan Lake), when she booked tickets for the two of us to see Car Man - a provocative romp of a ballet based in 1960's small-town America, to the tune of Bizet's Carmen.


Needless to say I was hooked to Bourne in an instance and have since attended his productions of Edward Scissor Hands & the Nutcracker. It's no surprise we booked tickets for Cinderella as soon as tour dates were announced.


Set in the London Blitz and backed by Prokofiev's score, Matthew Bourne steers away from conventional ballet & re-tells Cinderella's story by introducing handsome RAF pilots, murderous mother-in-laws, and even a foot fetishist brother (who looked a bit like Cripsin Glover).



It's not everyday that Cinderella is taken to a war torn ball room in the side-car of a white motorcycle.


The two of us left the theatre jiving & singing Pensylvania 6-5000 (the only words sung throughout this darkly stunning ballet).


Sadly, the Cinderella tour was short lived in London and is currently in Sheffield (check out tour dates here.)



Betty Blue Eyes


To celebrate our anniversary, the husband and I shared a bag of penny sweets & took seat in the Novello Theatre for Betty Blue Eyes.


Set in post war Britain & based on the film 'A Private Function' - Betty tells the story of food rationing, a royal wedding, an illegally reared pig, and the lengths a foot doctor & his wife would go to for status (played by Reece Shearsmith & Sarah Lancashire respectively).



The soundtrack is highly catchy, with notable tracks 'Nobody' & 'Painting My Heart' - the later a trippy little number sung by a meat inspector & closet Picasso (or Pigcasso, as it were…). The cast is incredibly funny & equally moving (got a little teary-eyed during 'What Kind of Man am I') And lest we forget Betty the pig- she's a stunner.


With it's current cast listing, at times it was like watching a live episode of Psychoville - which is an added bonus if you ask me!


This is one production I definitely recommend.


Until next time...


Hearts


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