Sunday, 12 October 2014

Sasha the Show Slut

Hello Blog Land. It's been a while. Oops. I have been incredibly busy and tired and then busy and tired...rinse and repeat. I have seen an awful lot of liver [edit: hilarious typo that I am leaving here because I think it represents what I've done a lot of in the last week...] performance in the last couple of weeks. I haven't quite hit saturation point yet; hopefully that never happens!

Tuesday, 30 September: Dan Sultan
At the Kate Miller-Heidke concert, Charlotte and I were thrust leaflets promoting a concert for Dan Sultan at Bush Hall. Charlotte, realising that she could get cheap tickets for working there, set about organising the night. We started off with dinner at the Bush Hall Dining Room (not much to look at from the outside, but oh my golly gosh, the food was amazing and the cocktails made with love). Here we met a crazy French lady (and I think "crazy" might be a polite way of putting it) who has travelled all around the world following Dan Sultan, including all the way to the sunny Land Downunder.

Now, I had never heard of Dan Sultan before ("He's Aussie," said Charlotte, "and a very good looking man") so in the weeks preceding I did a little bit of YouTube research and decided that I enjoyed his music (and yes, he was a very good looking man to boot). Tummies filled, cocktail buzz setting in, we wandered next door into the gorgeous Bush Hall and positioned ourselves close to the front.

The support act was a gorgeous girl and guy duo, I believe her name was Lucy Mason. Utterly mesmerising voice and another great Aussie talent. Soon, however, the main act took to the stage (with crazy French lady positioned front, centre) and Dan Sultan began to rock.

I only peripherally knew a couple of songs but I didn't even need to know that much. The vibe, the beat, the rhythm - there was no other choice but to get up and dance, mesmerised by his focused facial expressions and great guitar playing. The room wasn't packed but what he did have was a very loyal, very interactive fan base that I may just about become one of. It was a great night of country-Aussue-rock blend in the pinkly-lit Bush Hall, with great food, cocktails and company.

Good looking people all around!
Lady in red is the crazy Frenchie

Wednesday, 1 October: The Lion King
Holy moly, when did it become October? No I mean, like, seriously. When? About 12 days ago but..how? In my true style of not doing things by halves, the night following Dan Sultan I was out and about again at The Lion King.

I met the BritBound crew at the pub next door and ran into Kandis and we made our way into the theatre together. Fantastic seats, reasonably close to the front. I made my way to my seat, a row infront of Kandis and introduced myself to the other BritBounders sitting around us. The show started and winning - I had two empty seats directly infront of me so I had the perfect view.

Opening number...The Circle of Life. The smile spread across my face - here was childhood personified. The sets, the costumes, the songs all brought to life. While clapping and cheering the conclusion of the opening sequence, I spotted the little torch of the ushers and two people with enormous heads sat infront of me. This put a sour note on the rest of the show for me because I simply could not sit still for not being able to see. I'm sorry to those behind me.

I'm going to be honest and it is going to be an unpopular opinion, but The Lion King didn't wow me. I'm glad I've seen it, but I found it...messy. Too much going on, lots of running around, backwards and forwards and sometimes I couldn't quite understand the costumes. It was a great show, but I've seen better.

At the end of the night, the boy I was sitting next to (with whom trying to extract a conversation was like pulling teeth) asked which way to the Piccadilly train station and so I was stuck walking him back there as I was going in the same direction.

Ahh childhood :)

Monday, 6 October: Evita
All of the shows I have seen since arriving in London have been courtesy of BritBound. I've discovered that many of my workmates are theatre-goers and organise monthly-ish excursions to the theatre. Evita wasn't one of my favourites; I think I've only seen the movie (starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas) once and I only knew Don't Cry for me Argentina and On this night of a thousand stars from the score, despite it being an Andrew Lloyd Webber (he is so ugly).

But when the opportunity to get to know my workmates came up, I joined the crew and we were a party of 7 on a night out. We went for dinner first (wow - Busaba Thai is pretty damn incredible) and I enjoyed chatting and getting to know my workmates - in particular two newbies who are even newer than myself.

At the theatre, we made our way to our seats in row VV - having to chuck out two separate lots of people who were actually row V and one that was Row VV (obviously there was some confusion over two V's versus a W) and marvelled at how far from the stage we were. We had about 3 completely empty rows infront of us, and a perfect view of the stage as a result.

Which was probably not such a good thing. In a word: awful. Ok, two words: hilariously awful. I'm not even mad, I'm impressed. The others could pick out things they hated least, but for me the singing was woeful (piercing and largely unpleasant to listen to), there was a grand total of zero chemistry between the actors and the audience too was lacklustre. Also, I didn't really like the music (Andrew LW, how dare you make a piece of theatre I don't like?).

The best bit of the show was the end. And I don't mean because it ended. At the conclusion, half the audience got to their feet and proceeded to give this terrible show a standing ovation. Our group looked at each other in surprise.

"Did we miss something?"
"Did we just watch the same thing?"

We left the theatre and Abby turned to me, asking "What did you think?" I looked at her and gaped, opened and closed my mouth, unable to find politically correct words. The pause extended so long that we both burst into an uncontrollable fit of giggles. It was still a great night, just for different reasons.

Leaving the theatre was freezing and for the first time of the season, I donned my gloves (touch screen usable!) and was clearly the only Aussie on the bus, surrounded by locals still in t-shirts.

The theatre looked pretty cool from the outside...

Wednesday, 8 October: Wicked The Musical
I hadn't felt very well that day, and wasn't sure how I would go for the show. I stayed at work and made my way to the pub before hand to meet Nicole and the other BritBounders. I had asked my boss if I should research Wicked first so I knew the story line and the music, or if I should go in blind. "Definitely go in blind," was his response.

So not knowing the story, other than it being the story of Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, I didn't know what to expect. Nicole and I took our seats - fucking amazing seats, might I add - and gaped at the amazing stage set. Perhaps Evita lowered my expectations, but already I was terribly excited about what was to come.

The easiest way to say it is: I have added to my favourite musicals. Wicked was, in a word, incredible. We had the understudy for Elphaba, but if she was the understudy you would not have been able to tell. The sets. The costumes. The atmosphere. The chemistry. The music! The laughter. The ninjas cutting onions near me and the rest of the audience (a quick glance around saw girls and boys alike dabbing quickly at their eyes). I was, and still am, in awe. I don't even know what else to write about it.

Speechless. Amazing.