So I’m back from my short solo London trip – and I don’t think I’ll ever travel alone again unless compelled to for work or something. I only did it this time because I had the (unusual) drive to do so. Probably that’s partly because I know I may not get the chance again.
I wandered around Westminster, had a look at Trafalgar Square, St James’s Park and Hyde Park, visited Hampton Court Palace (again), dropped in at the V&A Museum and also paid the National Gallery a courtesy call. Survived mostly on sandwiches, chocolate and the occasional fast food for about four days. Made the acquaintance of every London Underground line except for the Metropolitan. Had to keep my phone off half the time because I was oh-so-smart and left my phone charger at home. And watched three musicals.
Brief opinions (don’t yet know if I’ll want to “review” them in my random manner later):
Wicked – I must be weird or something because I”m not quite sure why so many people adore this. It’s a very “flashy” show, that’s for sure. And entertaining, with lots of little jibes at the original story of the Wizard of Oz. But… I dunno. It’s good I guess, but I can think of others that I like better. I would have to concur with Vinly: Wicked is an “entry level” musical; easy for people who haven’t seen musicals to appreciate and enjoy. But once you’ve seen something like Les Mis or Lion King… 8D
Phantom of the Opera – Not as light-hearted as Wicked, certainly, but I like the songs better. hahah And I rather liked some of the set design. Costumes were quite lavish and detailed. The singing was, of course, impressive. (There’s probably no way you can cast people who sing less than marvellously for Phantom of the Opera – it’d be the death of the show if you did.) For once I actually decided to use those little binoculars/opera glasses that they have for rent at the theatres (this one cost 50p as opposed to most others which are £1). Didn’t use it all the time, but it was definitely useful for seeing facial expressions and costume detail.
Oliver! – Probably my favourite of the three that I saw. Energetic performances, and some impressive and clever set design that I really liked. Story was a little rushed in the second half, but probably understandable given that Oliver Twist isn’t exactly a short story. Music? Liked it, definitely. Fagin was a real hoot. He was clearly an audience favourite, alongside the kids in the cast.
If I haven’t forgotten any, that brings my musicals total to a nice round 10 – including the couple I saw in KL and excluding Stomp, the ballets and Lord of the Dance. I think that if I had to arrange them in order of preference, this might be my current ranking:
- The Lion King
- Les Misérables
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Phantom of the Opera
- The Sound of Music
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
- The Hobbit
It would take a LOT to make me reconsider the high ranking of Lion King and Les Mis.