The story of Wind in the Willows, is a story that I’ve heard about but never actually read. So when going to see this show at The Mercury Theatre, I went into the show with a complete open mind.
I got lucky enough to go to a touch tour before the show in the afternoon. For those who don’t know, a touch tour is part of the access element which most shows and theatres offer even if it’s a local theatre or London’s West End. A touch tour is where disabled audience members get to experience a full feel of the show, getting to see/feel the sets on stage and costumes that the actors and actresses wear. In today’s case, The Mercury Theatre did this very well, each actor/actress came up to each person individually and allow them to touch their costume and whilst I was doing so, the actor/actress described the item in question e.g. the item’s colour, texture and where and how it was used in the show.
They did the same with the musical instruments and some were very different and some which I had never seen before e,g, various pots and pans you would use when cooking. After they showed us the instruments, they then played a sample of a song in the show showing how the instruments are used. After that we had a questions and answers section, but no one actually asked any questions so it just ended early.
After the touch tour had ended, I then went to the ticket office to collect the tickets for the show later that afternoon. I was also lucky enough that the also gave me a discount on food and drink. Now I am not sure if that was because they knew I was press or it was part of the disabled access, but either way it was a nice touch so I will never turn that down so other theatres reading this take note! :).
The show was overall very good. The acting was of a good standard, the use of setting and lighting added to the atmosphere of the whole show. I really liked the fact that the cast played most of the songs in the show themselves, which I rather enjoyed. Every song made me smile whenever they start singing so thats always a good sign. Their was a lot of audience participation for example during the chase scene, the cast would run through the audience so to heighten the atmosphere and as a audience member I really wanted the good character to get away. Throughout the show, all the cast would use the auditorium doors as a way of entering and exiting a scene, so it made you feel like you were part of the story.
Photo (above): Photo of the stage and some of the audience before the show started.
I felt that the first half of the story during the first half of the show was a little hard to follow and understand, but the second half of the show, I had a much better understanding of what was going on story wise. The cast increased the audience participation, so in terms of that alone by the end of each scene I felt like I was part of the show, and up there on the stage with them. However, the nicest touch I felt was at the end of the show, where the cast allowed members of the audience to come up and dance with them! As soon as they announced this, most all of the kids in the audience (and I must say some of the parents) ran down the stairs and went on the stage and loved being with the cast! This is something which I believe should be encourage within shows everywhere, not just local theatre.
I would highly recommend going to see this show! If you have young kids I strongly recommend you see this show with them, they will love it! The show is very family focused, both children and parents will find moments of the show hilarious! So if you are finding it difficult to find things to do this Summer, go see this show! If you are interested in seeing the show for yourself, I will leave the website to the theatre below!
Photo (above): Theatre graphic of Wind In The Willows
Until next time!
The VI Critic
Warning before I start, this will be quite a long post, so grab a drink or something first! 🙂
This post is the one I’ve wanted to write about since I started this blog. But never thought I would be writing it so soon! Like I have said before I am a massive fan of musical theatre, and Wicked The Musical is my most favourite musical of all time! After seeing the performance today, I have seen the show I total of six times. The seventh coming in a couple of weeks!
After a what seemed to be a forever bus ride. I arrived to my local train station on time and got the train to London. Once arrived in London I took the Underground to London Victoria. Normally I would get assistance to use the Underground, but I knew the route so I done it on my own. Wicked is performed at the London Apollo Victoria, just a few yards (across the road) from Victoria station, so it’s really easy to get to. The tickets I had I bought were Row B (second row) in the Stalls. For anyone who doesn’t know, the Stalls are the first block of seats nearest to the stage. But the original seats were slightly off to the right and therefore were block by part of the stage set.
I knew this would be somewhat of a problem for me, so I tried to phone the theatre directly first thing this morning with no success. I message them on social media, but again with no success so my hopes were not too high. So when I arrived at the theatre, I went straight to the box office and explained my situation. I said that I did not booked the tickets myself and that I was visually impaired so I would struggle to see the show and that I need to be more central to stage to have the best view. The lady who was service me took the tickets I had bought with me and went to the back. A few seconds later, she came back and said that wouldn’t be a problem and let me choose where I wanted to sit.
Photo: View of the stage before the show from my seat.
I must point out, that on the day I got lucky and there were seats availble that best fit me. But any reading please bare in mind, that when you go and ask for your seat to be changed if needed. The theatre might not be able to do so. It honest just depends on the day and time of the performance. Anyway, the gave me seat C25 which was three rows back from the stage and dead centre. I honestly couldn’t ask for any better!
A bit of backstory about the show, everyone knows the story of The Wizard of Oz? Well, the show is all about The Wicked Witch of the West and what happened before the Wizard of Oz story. The show opened London’s West End in 2006, and has been going every since. It will celebrate its ten years anniversary this year. The show has had a new cast every year, but the cast you were on stage this afternoon and the current cast are as follows: Emma Hatton as Elphaba, Savannah Stevenson as Glinda and Oliver Savile as Fiyero.
I would go so far to say, that this is honestly the best cast I have ever seen by far! The vocal performances off all three actors/actresses, were outstanding! I also got luckily enough to meet Emma at the stage door after the show (photo below) I actually didn’t recognise her at first without all the green! But honestly I really talented and lovely lady!
I would highly recommend Wicked to anyone!! If you ever get a chance to go seriously go! The website and trailer of the show will be below. I can honestly say now, this will NOT be the last time I see this show! I will go and see this show a thousand times more I am sure!
If have got this far, when well done! I am sorry this was such a long post, but I don’t think I would be going this show justice if I didn’t Thank for reading this, and I hope you come back for more next time!
Website of the show: http://www.wickedthemusical.co.uk/wicked-london.php
Full trailer below:
The VI Critic