Matilda The Musical.

A few weeks ago now I visited London with my family and we went to see ‘Matilda The Musical‘ at the Cambridge theatre. It was a really fantastic show, that I will never forget! I really did enjoy it from start to finish. Ive always loved Roald Dahl’s stories from a very young age and it was great to see it performed in live action. The director Matthew Warchus has put together a truly spectacular show which combines new ideas and treasured memories from the original book and film. I highly recommend you go and watch it the next time your in London.

Matilda is a very popular story that most people know, everyone loves Roald Dahl! The show followed the original story perfectly but added certain elements, such as story telling from Matilda herself, in the show to play out some of the stories events. Matilda is a very clever young girl who isn’t respected by her bitter parents. Her parents don’t agree with her wanting to learn but eventually agree to let her attend school at an early age. Miss Honey is Matilda’s new teacher and she spots her potential from the moment she meets her. We meet Ms Truchble who is an evil, wicked women who is the headmaster of the school and makes the children’s lifes hell. We find out she is Miss Honeys auntie and how she treated her as a child and Matilda uses her magical powers to get rid of Ms Truchble once and for all! It’s a fantastic little story, with great humour and family drama.

The acting was incredibly strong from all characters which was a present surprise with most of them being children. Sara Sheen who played Matilda was a fantastic little actress who really put on a suberb performance. How she managed to remember all those challenging words I do not know! I didn’t even know some of the words myself! She was very impressive. Craige Els who played Ms Truchble was spectacular! We originally thought it would be strange for a male to play this particular female character but it was just what the part needed. He was the most memberable character and by far my favourite; he was just brilliant! Michael Begley who portrayed Mr Wormwood (Matilda’s Dad) also stood out to me as he was hilarious; every time he was on stage I could not stop laughing! His camp stance and hilarious walk was genius.

The set design unfortunately wasn’t as spectacular as I would have hoped. There were only really three main sets that were used during the show. I do think they could have incorporated a few other places to tell the story even more affectively. However, the three sets were greatly put together and used in the best possible way. The school classroom set stood out to me, I loved how the tables were used in so many different ways, a very clever use of set. This may be why they thought other sets were not needed. The props were very playful which fit perfectly with the school environment. The big swings, were a personal favourite, I just wanted to jump on the stage and join in!

The best part of the show for me were the song and dance performances by all the main characters and dancers. As mentioned above the swings scene was my favourite, where the cast sang, ‘When I grow up‘ and did their fantastic swinging sequences. This was a great aspect of the show, it fit the story perfectly; it was is a truely fantastic idea in my eyes. All the other singing and dance performances were great too. There were some great songs in the show, hats off too Tim Minchin the music composer.

I really enjoyed the performance and so did my family. It’s a real fun loving, happy show that I highly recommend to everyone, especially young children! The acting was superb, the songs were so catchy and the overall direction and performance was fantastic. Go and see it when your next in London, you will not be disappointed!

Emily Jane xo

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.

As I have mentioned before, whilst we were in London a couple of weeks ago we went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in London at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The show was spectacular! I’ve got to say that it is the best live theatre show I have ever seen. I’ve seen quite a few growing up but none of them beat this production. From the set design to the acting everything was just suberb! The Director Same Mendes has put together a truly fantastic production and I really do think it will be a huge loss to the West End when it ends in January 2017!

Everyone knows the chocolate and sweet filled story, who hasn’t heard of the well known Roald Dahl book?! Willy Wonka who owns the biggest, most spectacular chocolate factory has hidden 5 golden tickets in his famous Wonka Bars around the world. The five lucky winners get the chance to visit his factory which has been closed to the public for many years. Verruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, Augustus Gloop, Mike Teavee and of course Charlie Bucket are the five golden ticket winners who set off on a tour around the remarkable factory. Each character becomes a victim to the factory one by one, leaving Charlie Bucket as the only remaining child at the end. Willy Wonka gives the factory to Charlie which he had intended on doing from the very beginning. It really is a lovely, heart-felt story about a very poor little boy being given the world!

The acting was truely outstanding from all characters. Each actor suited their roles perfectly and played the much loved characters brilliantly. Young Noah Crump who played Charlie Bucket was superb! A great little actor and singer who really through his all into the performance. He even looked very much like the original Charlie from the film too! Jonathan Slinger who played Willy Wonka was the one who stood out to me: he was absolutely fantastic. The way he portrayed the character and carried himself on the stage was mesmerising. His ability to light up the stage every time he appeared was phenomenal: he played a truly great Willy Wonka, with a excellent singing voice, presence and persona. He was 100% my favourite. The old grandpa Joe played by Barry James was another favourite of mine, his wittyness, contagious laughter and hilarious lines were just brilliant!

The stage design including the numerous different sets, lights, sound and props were out of this world. I couldn’t believe how many different sets were used and also how smoothly they appeared and changed on stage. They were done so professionally you didn’t really notice it happening most of the time. Although every piece of set was great, the best one had to be the floating elevator at the end. The scene itself was just so beautiful but the set design, which cleverly showed the elevator flying on stage, was just stunning. All the sets made it feel so real and as if you were actually in chocolate factory yourself! The extremely clever graphics which were used to portray the halls of the factory were also very effective and helped massively to enhance the story. A big thumbs up to the set design crew, definitely one of the most beautifully designed stages I have ever seen!

Another big aspect of the show that stood out to me were the little Oompa-Loompas who were played by numerous people. It must be incredibly had to act, portray a character and even just move about on your knees, let alone dance aswell! All the scenes which included the oompa-loompas were absolutely hilarious and really got the audience moving and jigging along in their seats. The up beat songs and dances from the Oompa-loompas, when each of the five characters came across some trouble in the chocolate factory, were definitely key scenes that stood out to me. I just could not stop laughing, they really were feel-good scenes!

I certainly enjoyed the show and I would say that everyone around me did too. The audience even gave a standing ovation at the end too, so it was a real hit with all members of the audience. I think I experienced nearly every emotion during the performance and I believe that is what makes a great show. It was a wonderful night for me and my family and it is definitely a performance I will not forget in a very long time! The actors were phenomenal, the set was extremely impressive and the overall direction and show was absolutely spectacular! I 100% recommend going to see the show before it ends in January, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed, it is worth every penny!

Have you been to any theatre shows lately? I love the theatre and would love to hear about any recommendations?

Bye for now,

Emily Jane xo

Hairspray the Musical.

A couple of months ago I went to see ‘Hairspray’ at the Lyceum theatre in Sheffield. It was absolutely brilliant! Fantastic songs, spectacular talent and outstanding performances. I was tidying out my drawers today and found the programme so I thought I would share my experience. They are still currently touring around the UK and it is definitely something I would recommend going to see. I have always loved going to the theatre but I have to say this is one of my favourites. It took me back to my childhood as I used to watch hairspray on video, over and over!

The cast were absolutely outstanding. Clare Sweeney and Tony Maudsley were the only well known personalities, all the others were unknowns. However, every single member of the cast were flawless. Freya Sutton who plays Tracy Turnblad voice was out of this word: she really is one very talented lady! Clare Sweeney was hilarious, she played a fantastic part, From seeing her on other things on the TV, I never would have thought she could be so funny. She definitely was the star of the show and really stood out for me. All the actors really fit their characters perfect and all had great voices!

I love all the music in the play but Good Morning Baltimore has to be my favourite. It’s a really fun- loving song that really gets stuck in you head. I did actually download all the songs when I got home as I was so impressed with the talent. The songs really did have you dancing around and having fun.

The costumes were all fabulous too. All fitting perfectly to the themes and surroundings of where the story was set, in the 60s. I loved the style back then, with the big hair and flashy attire. One thing I would say was that the characters did seem to stick to the same outfits for the majority of the show. It would have been nice to see a variety of different outfits, to show off the 60s look. But then again, I can see that they would have wanted to stick to what the original film had done.

The story that hairspray explores is extremely powerful, as it tackles some very hard and touchy subjects. It does however present them in a great way, that really makes you think about important issues around the world. Definitely a film that I would recommend watching, it really does make you stop and think.

If you see that it is coming to your home town soon, I would highly recommend trying to get your hands on some tickets. I can promise you a really great night, full of singing and dancing!

Take care,
Emily Jane

*image used is not my own.