|Signature shot, anyone? Source|
I had seen this show before, at the Savoy Theatre in London last summer, and thoroughly enjoyed it then, so I was really looking forward to watching it again. We arrived at the Hippodrome suitably early (my mother cannot bear to get to the theatre less than half an hour early), and were met with lots and lots of pink! Pink bunting in the theatre, pink fairy lights on the ice cream trays, and all the staff were wearing pink ties with their uniforms. I did have to wonder, though, who it was who sat down and thought 'I know! Let's dye the fountain!'
We were sitting slightly further back than usual, which I always take to be a sign that the show is very popular, considering my mum books all our tickets months in advance and gets what she considers to be the best seats left. I suppose this is only to be expected, for a show based on a very popular film, but it was still very nice to see it get the attention it deserves. I will admit to being slightly surprised by the average age of the audience - I had expected more young people, but I suppose it was a Tuesday night, and groups of young people wouldn't necessarily be sitting in the stalls anyway.
So, the show began, and right from the offset it was hard to stop smiling. I think this is one of the real joys of shows like this - as nice as it is to go and see things which challenge you, make you think, or take your emotions for a ride; it is also nice to sit down and do nothing but grin for two and a half hours solid. (One of the really brilliant things about theatre, I suppose, is that you could go and see two shows one after the other and have two experiences which could not be more different.)
But actually, it would be unfair to say that this show was totally devoid of meaning. Beneath all the glorious cheese, and the hilarity, there is a very worthwhile moral - don't judge others on their appearances, and always stay true to yourself. The show's end is idealistic and unrealistically perfect, yes; but it is also undeniably heart-warming, and I would be lying if I said I didn't leave the theatre with a warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach. If we can't have fairy-tale endings in the theatre, where the hell can we have them?!
|Don't you just love a good old happy ending? Source|
The show was brilliant. Technically, some of the voices weren't quite as strong as I'd heard when I saw the show in London, but somehow that didn't matter in the slightest. This musical has some absolutely hilarious minor characters, all of whom were played excellently, and to much laughter. Highlights for me would have to be the adorable Emmett (played by Iwan Lewis), the hilarious Gay or European, and the absolutely fabulous camp male hairdresser, who managed to hold my attention the entire time he was on-stage without having a single line.
|Oh Emmett. How I love you... Source|
As we were walking back to the car after the show, my mum confessed that she "hadn't expected it to be that good." And that is often the way with notoriously cheerful shows, isn't it? I know I have been guilty of going to see a show with slightly lower expectations, for no real reason other than it was based on a cheesy 80's film. (Footloose, if you're wondering; and it was actually brilliant, made me cry, and got a well-deserved standing ovation.) Perhaps we Brits, known for our cynicism, just don't want to be seen to be liking something that is too *gasp* happy.
If you ever get the opportunity to watch this show - do! It is frothy, feel-good fun at its very finest.