Posts Tagged With: theatre

Les Misérables – A Review

Finally, I got to see the musical Les Misérables! I had wanted so see it since I came here, but I waited for somebody to accompany me for too long. I have only two weeks to go, so I decided to go alone. I went to the early show and I had the perfect seat: Upper Circle, front row in the centre.  I had to lean forward, but that was quite comfortable.

I love the music, the story and the characters; it was a very powerful performance. I tried very hard not to cry, but of course I failed miserably –just like the girl sitting next to me. We were sobbing in unison at the end. Even though I know the story and I had watched the movie a few months ago, it was still so very touching and I was excited to see how they would perform certain things – for example Javert’s last song.

Compared to the movie cast, I liked most of the actors equally. The only one I preferred in the movie was Russell Crowe as Javert, he was just amazing. Eddie Redmayne was an amazing Marius, but I liked the singing voice of the musical actor better. The costumes were stunning and the backgrounds were incredible. They had a turning stage in the form of a circle. So you got to see what was happening in front of the barricades or behind in turns. Compared to the Phantom of the Opera, it was even better in terms of stage setting. All the different sets were very realistic and believable, no matter whether it was the House of the Innkeepers or the sewer system.

The show was almost sold out I think, which is just another sign for how much people love Les Mis. The actors got standing ovations at the end and it was well deserved. Les Misérables now officially is my favourite musical of all times, placing Wicked as second. I can only recommend everybody to go see it if you haven’t – or see it again if you have. It is well worth the money and time. You should also go and buy the DVD or Bluray of the movie, which will be released tomorrow (13th of May)!

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A Visitor from Germany!

I was so excited for my friend, Kiki, to come over from Germany for a few days. We have been planning this for a while and we had a lot we wanted to do.

On Thursday morning, I went to the tube station to meet her. I had to wait around a bit, for there were delays on the tube from Heathrow and since there is no service in the underground, she couldn’t let me know she was running late. But finally, she arrived and I was happy to see her. We headed home and first of all had breakfast. It was 10:30, after all: Perfect time for breakfast. My landlady had set the table for us already, how nice of her!

After settling in and showing her the whole house, we decided to head into town. We took the tube to my university and collected tickets to the study abroad gala the same evening. There were enough left so that we both could go, even though we are technically not supposed to bring friends. But who cares?  We then started our little shopping tour. First stop: Primark, of course. For some reason I felt the need to buy a dress for the evening, so I looked around and tried a few on. I never liked shopping for dresses (unless it is real fancy ones), but I found one that looked nice on me and was cheap, too. It is a white dress that goes to the knee and made of some flimsy cloth that I like very much. I was never one for stiff dresses that don’t move when you move.

I also bought a matching purse, too. The whole outfit cost me only twenty pounds, so that was a good deal. Kiki got some stuff, too, so we happily marched out of the shop. We also went to H&M, because they had a gorgeous dress displayed in the shopping window and I just wanted to go see how much that would cost. Unfortunately, it was 200 pounds, so there was no way I could get it, but I still think it’s gorgeous. It is turquoise, made of net lace and on top shaped slightly like a corset. Ah, well. Another time. I don’t really have a reason to buy a ball gown anyway.

We were back home in the early afternoon and had enough time to get ready for the gala and check the showing times for The Host. I even had enough time to do an elaborate hair up-do and put Kiki’s hair up in a lovely sock bun before heading out again. We had slight troubles getting my friend into the university, because she doesn’t have an ID card and was not announced to be there as a guest, but since she had an invitation, they let her in eventually.

We had a lovely evening with some of my friends there, the Americans were there and most of my theatre class and we talked to many people. The food was great, they had small pizza pieces and pastries and some vegetables, as well. And heavenly chocolate cake for dessert. Mhhh! The study abroad team gave a little speech and each of us got a cute little teddy bear with an university shirt on. So adorable! Kiki got one, too and we named them later that evening as Edward and Jacob (please do not ask me why, but that’s it now).

After the gala, some of us decided to go have some drinks. There was a cocktail bar close by that had happy hour until 9 or so, so we went there. I drank something eerily like alcoholic and liquid gummy bears. For some weird reason, we all got fake moustaches to put on and some funny looking hats. I have no idea what that was about but we took some pictures, making weird faces. I had originally planned to go to karaoke that evening and take my friend along, but she was tired after the long day (and god knows I understand the feeling of getting up early for a journey), so we went home after our cocktails and watched Breaking Dawn Part 2 before getting to sleep. I had avoided that movie before, but oh well. We didn’t get all the way through because both of us were too tired. And I couldn’t take a single thing seriously about that movie.

The next day, we got up more or less early, because we wanted to watch the Host at noon. My Danish friend joined us at the cinema and the three of us saw the movie together. I already put up the review, so please check that out if you’re interested in my opinion.

After the movie, Kiki and I wanted to walk around the city some more, and we parted ways with my Danish friend because she had other stuff to do. So Kiki and I made our way to Bond Street and looked for Victoria Secret. She had a shopping list from her cousin who instructed her to go there. I found it completely overwhelming. We spent quite a lot of time there, searching for the very specific things on the list. I have never seen so much underwear, so much fancy underwear in once place. We were successful in the end and headed over to the Disney store afterwards (speaking about change of scenery). Unfortunately, that shop is not equipped for grown-up Disney fans, so there were only about 4 shirts I could have bought and they were not even that cool. I would have bought a stuffed animal, but I figured I don’t really need it at the moment, so I didn’t.

We had spent quite a long time in town, so when we came back home, we quickly had dinner (baked beans on toast!) and tried to get ready for the musical we had tickets for that evening. The Phantom of the Opera. For some reason, my friend started getting ready later than I (Facebook is addictive, after all) and we were running late. We literally ran out of the door and to the tube station to make it in time. Of course we didn’t exactly know where the theatre was, so we were running, looking at my GPS and asking people at the same time. We barely made it, though. We stumbled to our seats in the darkness, just as the show was about to start. Phew! The review for that musical is up as well, so feel free to read about it. I am amazed how my feet survived this – I was wearing my heels, and I normally cannot walk in them, let alone running. But they didn’t hurt as much as I had suspected.

That evening we finished Breaking Dawn – so now I know the whole badness of the trilogy. I find it hard to remember that I once liked the story. It just seems too ridiculous to me now. The next day, Saturday, we were planning on meeting with Kiki’s hairdresser and her friend, who conveniently were in London the same weekend. It was the perfect day: sunny, warm, a nice breeze. I finally got to wear my sunglasses, yay! We met the other two girls at the London Eye, but we didn’t go up because it is expensive and it was also crowded. Instead, we strolled along the river and across the bridge to the Houses of Parliament. We took loads of pictures along the way and enjoyed the sun. It was already around 3.30 when we arrived there – we had met rather late and had a lengthy breakfast – and I persuaded the others to go to my favourite pub to watch the Grand National, which is one of the most famous horse races Britain has to offer. Kiki and I were excited to see it, since we both love horses, and the other girls just wanted to go into a pub, so all was well.

We shared a table with two young men who apparently had placed bets on the horses and told us a bit about it. They also offered to buy us drinks, which we graciously accepted after the race. It is a steeplechase, meaning that there are obstacles and the horses have to jump as well as run – which is rather dangerous. Luckily, my friend and I did not bet, we would have lost. We had our favourites, but I believe both of them arrived at the finish line without their riders. What a pity. The atmosphere was great, many people were there and some even dressed up as jockeys with toy horses. We had a great time with our table mates and stayed for over two hours.

Kiki and I went home afterwards and parted ways with the two other girls. They wanted to go to Piccadilly Circus and some other places later. When we got home, we had dinner – pizza. Nothing fancy, but just enough for us. We transferred the pictures to my laptop and looked at them, and we also watched Ted, this movie about the magically living teddy bear. It was cute. We spent the rest of the evening just talking and gossiping and watching funny videos on youtube. For example, the Hillywood Show – they do parodies of movies such as Twilight, Harry Potter or the Hunger Games. It was so sad that she had to leave the next day.

We had enough time in the morning to have a lovely breakfast and get ready without much hectic. We had gotten my landlady a small thank-you present which we gave her that morning before heading out. I accompanied Kiki to King’s Cross and made sure that she was on the right tube back to Heathrow. I would have loved to have her stay with me longer, but school was calling back in Germany. We had a great time overall and I am happy that it all worked out. We didn’t spent too much time on looking at touristy stuff, because we already did that together two years ago, so this weekend was more about seeing each other again after quite a while.

Well, that was that, and next up will be my trip to Amsterdam. I doubt that I will be able to write that today though, so please be patient. There is a History Essay waiting to be written!

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Performances, Performances

Hello everyone! Today is a great day, it is sunny outside and I feel good. So it is perfect timing for a new blog post. I am almost two weeks behind, after all.

Let me first tell you briefly about the final performance of my theatre class, which was on April 3rd. It was nothing big, more like an open rehearsal. Almost none of us had invited anybody to the show, so we only had about a dozen people showing up. Part of them were relatives of our teacher. Oh, well.

The show lasted only about 40 minutes, so it was over rather quickly. I was both relieved and disappointed at that. Relieved because I don’t have to fall on my knees ever again (seriously, my knee injury never really healed properly because of that) and disappointed because it didn’t really feel like a performance. It was so short and also hectic and disorganized; we didn’t rehearse too much because most of the scenes were based on spontaneity. I don’t know if I mentioned it at some point, but I was responsible for the visuals. Meaning putting together a PowerPoint presentation with fitting background pictures and the music. I had some fun doing it, and apparently everyone was happy with what I did, so that was good. I learned some more about animations in PowerPoint, too. So even though it meant quite a lot of work, I am glad I volunteered, after all. And I’ll get some extra credit for it. Yay!

After the performance, I went with one of the girls over to the other campus. The university choir had a concert that evening and this girl was part of it. I was curious what this choir was doing, so I joined her. It was quite lovely, they had some poetry recited in between the songs and some solos, as well. Two songs I liked particularly much: one African sounding song that I cannot pronounce and a version of The Circle of life that gave me goose bumps. It was beautifully arranged and performed. After the concert, there was a small gathering for the guests and performers, and we chatted a little before heading home. The evening had passed pleasantly, and it was about ten when I got home. Since my friend from Germany was to arrive the next day, I went to bed early. Since I intend to write quite a lot today, I will cut this post short and carry on with the next.

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The Phantom of the Opera – A Review

I had always loved the movie and the music, so I was excited to go to this musical. I went with my friend who was here for the weekend, but unfortunately we were running late – so that we were quite literally running to the theatre to get there on time. We barely made it, but we had to stumble to our seats in darkness, for the musical was about to start. So we didn’t get to enjoy the whole experience of waiting in anticipation for the show.

But in any case, we still enjoyed the musical. We had seats rather high up in the Grand circle, and we couldn’t see the left corner of the stage. Since the important stuff always happens in the center, I didn’t mind. They had great costumes and I wanted to get backstage and steal half of the dresses the actresses wore. Wonderfully coloured and sparkling and all. Really lovely.  I also admired the background setting; they had some kind of 3D-drawing of the beams and curtains and all that. It created a great atmosphere. And the candles in the basement where the Phantom lives, that was rather impressive! I liked the overall setting.

What I didn’t particularly like were the actors. Christine was beautiful, but her voice was not right. She completely ruined “Think of me”, which is one of my favourite songs, and that was disappointing. She hit the notes all right, but the emotion was somehow lacking. The Phantom was also not that great. He seemed to be rather short, same height as Christine, which didn’t impress me. He is supposed to be tall and intimidating, not that smallish. His voice wasn’t as resonant as I had hoped. The others were fine and I wouldn’t complain about them. I guess I just had the voices of the actors in the movie in my mind and they were simply different.

Overall, I enjoyed the show, despite those small drawbacks. I had a lovely evening with one of my favourite stories when it comes to musicals (and of course with my favourite friend from my hometown!). I recommend the show to everybody who likes the classical type of musicals.

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