Senna in Theatreland

In which Senna lives for a year in London and spends all her money on theatre.

Reviews, memories, tips on getting cheap tix, performer and production squee.

Big list of shows seen

thewitchjadeharley:

ENTP : Elder Price (Book of Mormon)
INTP  : Melchior (Spring Awakening)
ENTJ : Jay P. Finch (How to Succeed Without Really Trying)
INTJ  : The Witch (Into The Woods)
ENFP: Elle Woods (Legally Blonde)
INFP : Seymour (Little Shop of Horrors)
ENFJ: Genie (Aladdin)
INFJ : Elphaba (Wicked)
ESTP: Jack Kelly (Newies)
ISTP : JD (Heathers)
ESFP: Leading Player (Pippin)
ISFP : Phantom (Phantom Of the Opera)
ESTJ: Kate Monster (Avenue Q)
ISTJ : Javert (Les Miserable)
ESFJ: Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins)
ISFJ : Peter (Bare)

This puts me somewhere between Elphaba and the Witch. Which… is a theme, I suppose!

doyoulikevintage:

Donmar Theatre 1963

(via thelittlebooksquid)

remuslupn:

javert

reblog if u agree

(via faantine)

fyeahbroadway:

The original West End cast of Shakespeare in Love.

Medea starring Helen McCrory (x)

(via fuckyeahhelenmccrory)

Shows I’ve Seen  → Skylight, Wyndham’s Theatre, July 2014

The good: I was saying to my friend that I have the same view on modernist plays generally as I do on red wine - some very specific ones I like a lot, but as a group I don’t. This is one of the ones that I liked a lot. Probably partly the quality and skill of the actors, but also it used the span of a night to really go somewhere quite deep and poignant, and to really make you feel for these characters, a feat which modernist plays don’t always achieve. At times it was quite funny, and Nighy and Mulligan played off each other brilliantly.

Also, Carey Mulligan cooked spaghetti bolognaise on stage and it smelled DELICIOUS.

The bad: there is a certain amount of traditional gender roles in play here; I agree with the Guardian that the play would be more interesting with the gender roles reversed, and I was a bit uncomfortable about the gender politics for the first act, but Mulligan gives back as good as she gets in the second, and for all that she is the do-gooder teacher to Nighy’s [MUCH MUCH OLDER] plutocrat restauranteur, she does have agency and and internal life.

The ugly: some strong politics around the place - so your mileage may vary according to how much you like debate over social inequality along with your evening’s entertainment. Although I broadly agreed with Mulligan’s character’s position, some of how it was expressed did make me cringe.

I’d pay: Wyndham’s is a very tall, shallow theatre — the view from the balcony is quite good, but it is on a very sharp upwards angle, so you do feel like you’re not quite seeing the show from the angle it’s intended to be seen from. Very understandably, the actors mostly play to the stalls. Still, for £19, I’m not complaining.

Shows I’ve Seen  → Amadeus, Chichester Festival Theatre, July 2014

The good: Peter Shaffer plays are so intense. o_o But I love them. Nothing quite prepares you to watch Salieri tearing Mozart down piece by piece - it is quite harrowing! Rupert Everett was great as Salieri, I think, but (for my money) Joshua McGuire was even more amazing as Mozart - oscillating from puerile boy to divinely-inspired composer; at some points you hate him, and at others you feel an almost gut-wrenching sympathy for him. Jessie Buckley did a lovely turn as Constanze Mozart too. Sets, staging and costume design were magnificent - mixing decadence and minimalism is quite impressive. 

The bad: Rupert Everett’s ageing prosthetics. I wish they could have figured out a way for him to take those off when he wasn’t in old!Salieri mode, because they looked a bit silly. Despite how much I like Peter Shaffer and this play, I was left a little bit unmoved, and I don’t know why. Might have been because I was in the postdrome of a migraine, which does mess with my mood a little bit. Otherwise maybe something about the pacing/staging of the very end didn’t work for me. Not sure.

The ugly: Stage projects out into the theatre. Pros - some relatively cheap seats to the sides of the stage. Cons - you do lose a bit of the action/effect by sitting in them. Also, it was really, really hot on stage. I could tell because Joshua McGuire was sweating profusely the whole time. On the upside, the auditorium is airconditioned, so I was quite comfortable. :D

I’d pay: £25 gets you seats with a side view. I’d say that is quite good value right on the edge of the reserve (where we were) and probably gets to be less good value further towards the sides. Still, good theatre with good sightlines—definitely much worse shows with much worse seats that cost much more in the West End.

Chichester is worth the trip, too. Cute town. We’re going back in a couple of weeks for the Miss Julie/Black Comedy double bill, and then again for Gypsy. Woo!

Shows I’ve Seen  → Billy Elliot, Victoria Palace Theatre, July 2014

The good: I saw Billy Elliot in Melbourne a few years ago, but was keen to see it again. Like the other Elton John musicals I know (Aida, Lestat) the music took a little while to grow on me first time around, but at some point I flipped over into absolutely loving it. It should go without saying that the London production is excellent - Ruthie Henshall as Mrs Henderson, Deka Walmsley as Dad, Chris Jenkins (who was the understudy) as a pretty excellent Tony. We had a newish Billy and Michael, and they were both great - especially Michael who was SO CUTE.

The bad: Ruthie Henshall’s accent wandered around a bit. *G*

The ugly: day seats are (usually) in the front row, and unlike some other stages, the Palace Victoria is really high up, so these seats really are restricted view - you lose the actors’ feet (which is not ideal in a play about dancing) and more at the back of the stage - and I am not particularly short (5’8). The first two rows and around the side are the same price - ~£20 - but the rest are released for sale beforehand, whereas row A is released on the day. Row B might be even worse because it isn’t raked, so you would have the same level issue, but the additional risk of a tall person in front. From my eyeballing the RV seats around the side, I would say you would lose quite a lot of the stage sitting there. Plus, in Row A you trade off the view of feet against a really excellent, close-up view of the actors, who can also see you and sometimes interact with you, which is fun. 

The boyfriend of the very short woman sitting next to us got her a child’s booster seat, which may have been the most romantic thing I’ve seen all year.

I’d pay: first time around, this one might be worth paying a bit more for. That said, for £20 the front row is reasonable value and probably better than the other seats at that price.