I’ve seen a few West End shows lately so I wanted to group them all into one post and natter away about them for a little bit. Wicked is the only one of these shows I’d seen before and the Waitress tickets were a birthday surprise for my sister because I am, clearly, the best sister ever.
Overall, I thought Aladdin was bright, fun and colourful. The changes they’d made from the Disney’s animated movie (side note, even though I’m a bit over the Disney live action remakes, I am quite excited about the Aladdin movie, anyone else?) made sense and for the most part worked well. There are no animals in the show but Aladdin actually gets some real friends which is good for him. The new songs are nice but it’s the ones that come from the film that really have the entertainment factor, particularly the high-energy and genuinely spectacular Friend Like Me scene. Trevor Dion Nicholas is hilarious as the Genie, his comedic timing and stage presence lights up the stage almost as much as his glittery head.
The World New World scene was also executed nicely even if the actors did look a little scared to be floating around the stage on a “flying carpet”. The main criticism I have for the show, however, is the way they’ve worked Jafar and Iago into the stage show. As I said, there are no animals in the show so how do they get Iago in there? Well, he’s Jafar’s pretty annoying pantomime-esque sidekick. Sure, Aladdin is a pantomime classic and Jafar is widely considered to be one of Disney’s best villains but it felt a bit too over-the-top for me. I guess, maybe I’d feel different if I’d been to see the show with kids because that, for sure, would work for them. But, not for me and considering how many adults there were in the audience, it just felt a bit much.
Stepping away from the negatives though, this show is lively and, like I said, oh so colourful and visually spectacular. Fans of Disney will love it, families will love it, everyone else will probably enjoy it too.
How can I see it?
Aladdin is showing at the Prince Edward Theatre and booking through to July 27th (it will be closing in the coming months though so if you’re keen on seeing it, make sure you get tickets soon!)
This wasn’t my first trip to the Emerald City. Seeing Wicked again was a bit of nostalgia fest since it was the first show I ever saw on the West End back in 2014 and is now the only London show I’ve seen twice (though there are quite a few I’m desperate to see again).
Every musical fan seems to love Wicked, there’s something about it that just transports you into a magical realm where people can say slightly cringey non-words like “braverism” without anyone batting an eyelid. What I found most exciting about seeing it again was 1. Re-realising how funny it is and 2. Getting to see the amazing cast that is currently in the show. Alice Fearn as Elphaba and Sophie Evans as Glinda are brilliant and great when they perform together.
We were sat very far back right up at the top of the dress circle but you forget you’re so far back because the belting is so damn powerful and you get a great view of the random but awesome dragon at the top of the stage.
Whether you have or haven’t seen Wicked on the West End yet, the cheap seats at the top do actually have quite a good view so I think you should treat yourself this summer if you can.
How can I see it?
Wicked is showing at the Apollo Victoria Theatre and booking until May 2020.
I was so excited to see Waitress and it didn’t disappoint at all. It’s funny, moving and inspiring. The cast were fantastic. Katherine McPhee had such a long applause after She Used to Be Mine and rightfully so because her performance was so heart-wrenching. She was just amazing. So were her co-stars, Laura Baldwin as Dawn (who was also fab in Eugenius last year) and Charlotte Raby (who was understudying for Marisha Wallace) as Becky. Their friendship felt real to me and it was so great to see a show so focused on women’s issues and humour relating to what it’s like being a woman. I already knew I loved the songs but I didn’t realise how much I’d love the book and choreography as well. Also, I did not know how awkward and adorable Dr Pomatter is from just the songs. David Hunter was hilarious and played the lovable doctor really well.
I got too much merch – including a Waitress cookbook even though I rarely bake but I appreciate clever merch and I’m far too tigger-happy when it comes to buying things I don’t need so I got it – and obvs bought a pie there which came in a cute little jar.
Everything about this show was brilliant, I feel like I was grinning the whole way through. I’d recommend it to everyone I know. I feel like I’m probably as enthusiastic about this show as Ogie is about Dawn… maybe… if that’s even possible. Just, if you can, go and see it. It makes for a great feel-good evening.
How can I see it?
Waitress is showing at the Adelphi Theatre and booking through to October 19th. Go see it!
Let me know if you’ve seen any great shows lately. I already have a long list of shows to see but I’m constantly extending it anyway so feel free to give me recommendations! 😀