One of the perks of living in London is definitely cheap theatre tickets - much better than New York when I was there a few years ago anyway. I booked a lot of shows a while ago and they just so happened to all fall in the same week.
Gross und Klein @ Barbican
My week of theatre kicked off with Gross und Klein (Big and Small) starring Cate Blanchett. She was phenomenal and such a joy to watch on stage. The play itself was quite confusing and we were lucky enough to have bought tickets for the performance that included a Q&A with the cast afterwards. Cate told her friends who were coming to see the play to "just let go and don't think too much about it". I wish she'd told me that beforehand too! The Q&A proved very interesting especially when a lady said the playwright was a racial supremacist and why was the cast endorsing his views by performing it around the world. Cate's answer was very diplomatic but she found it curious that the lady had travelled across the world to see the play again and ask the same question as she did in Sydney. It really irritated one of the other actors though - he took the mic from Cate and responded quite angrily in favour of the playwright. Controversial!
Matilda the Musical @ Cambridge Theatre
Mel and I took Tammie for her birthday and we went the week it won a bunch of Olivier awards. It was a great musical! The girl who played Matilda made her West End debut that night so I think she was pretty nervous and maybe didn't perform at her very best. The music (go Tim Minchin!) and set and choreography was fantastic and the cast of kids singing and dancing together were amazing! The littlest boy was Asian and just so adorable I almost cried everytime he was on stage from his cuteness. They must have had a large budget for the set because it was amazing from the start. The whole stage was surrounded with coloured canvases that looked like books (see dodgy photo). The guy (yes, guy) who played Miss Trunchbald completely stole the show and was absolutely hilarious! Instead of being terrifying like she was in the movie, she was slightly paranoid with outbursts of anger and comical bodily ticks.
All New People @ Duke of York's
This is a pretty exciting one. I didn't know Zach Braff had written and would be starring in a play until I started seeing posters for it on the tube. It was funny, but deeper than I expected it to be, but then again Garden State wasn't exactly a flat out comedy. The play was about Charlie (Zach) who was trying to commit suicide by hanging himself in a beach house. He's found by another character and eventually joined by two more to make up a cast of four. Throughout the play a big screen would drop down and a short clip would play as a flashback to one of the character's lives. It touched on religion, life and death, and some why-are-we-here kinda stuff. Lots of swearing, drinking and drug taking too, but I really enjoyed it. Zach has a pretty booming voice when he's performing too!
It was Laura's birthday and I'd been saying for ages that we'd go to stage door and meet him. Some of us didn't seem that enthused to wait around but I insisted we should give it 5 minutes and then Zach came out and we all got really really excited. He stood up on his tippy toes and waved to everyone, then announced "And now I sign shit!" He was such a nice guy, very humble and grateful and was outside signing/taking photos for about half an hour and he did it after every show. We all managed to get something signed and a photo with him except Laura! She got a bit shy and just as I was going to ask him, he said he had to go and dashed off! But it's okay because I did some photoshopped for her. I must admit I was pretty gleeful because he gave me lots of eye contact (gotta admit his eyes are SO blue and pretty. Could I fangirl any more right now?) and there's a photo where he looks a bit in love with me and touching my shoulder (see below). He started signing my program and I felt like I had to say something so "it's so nice to meet you! I've been such a big fan for ages" and he said "thank you!" We got a photo and my 20 seconds of interaction with Zach Braff was over.
Singin' in the Rain
This is only my favourite musical of all time. I can quote it and I do believe I know all the words to all the songs. We had seats up in the very heavens but it was still brilliant. I'd love to see it again closer to the stage to see some more of the fancy footwork and costumes. The big dance numbers were so good and Adam who played Don Lockwood was amazing. He played adult Billy Elliot in the movie which is why I recognised him - he was only in it for a couple of minutes but my brain is great for retaining faces I've seen in movies or television. Like when Tammie and I spotted one of the actors from the BBC miniseries Songbird at Leicester Square tube after seeing Matilda.
Naked Boys Singing
This was a present from Craig and Jon and totally hilarious. There were songs about circumcision, masturbation and trying to hide erections in the boys change room in high school and then they all got their kits off and sang/pranced around nude, hahaha.